Belvedere House & Garden
Belvedere house is set on an elevated site overlooking Lough Ennel. This elegant country house has a most peculiar and fascinating history, the first indication being the Jealous wall, a huge arched stone structure, which is the largest Gothic folly in Ireland. The Earl of Rochfort had it built, to block out the view of his brother George's house which threatened to outshine his own. The ultimate in one-up-man-ship or foolishness?
The last owner of Belvedere house was Charles Howard Bury who sold it to the state in 1980, unfortunately the contents were auctioned in 1982. He seems to have been a colourful character and typical of the time, along with his pal, the actor Rex Bart Beaumont, he was widely travelled including expeditions to Tibet and Everest, accompanied by a pet bear.
You can also enjoy the beautiful grounds with mature trees and lakeside walks. Your admission ticket to the house includes the walled garden which has been restored in recent years and is maturing nicely. There is also a children’s playground, coffee shop and exhibition centre with themed events held regularly at Belvedere House, including exclusive Narnia Christmas events, with a Victorian green robed Santa, who pots up native spruce and holly trees with the children....
Ten other things to do and see in the area....
an ancient monastic settlement on the banks of the river Shannon, ruined churches, high crosses and round towers.
2 Lockes Distillery 3 Tullynally Castle & Gardens
2 Lockes Distilleryreputedly the oldest in the world. The real deal, it even smells right, free tastings at Kilbeggan, County Westmeath.
3 Tullynally Castle & Gardensgothic splendour, fairytale turrets and romantic gardens.
4 Loughcrew complex of burial mounds, passage graves, solar and lunar allignement. Great legend of Hag witch....
5 Fore Abbey medieval monastry also famous for motorbike racing.
6 The Lakes Loughs Derrevaragh, Ennell & Coole fabled home of many Irish fairytales, children of Lir.
7 Mullaghmeen Forest the largest planted beech forest in Europe, a delight in spring carpeted in bluebells.
8 Johnathan Swift Park at Lilliput, yes you read that correctly there is such a place on the shores of Lough Ennell. The dean of St Patricks is believed to have gotten his inspiration for the tale of the little people, Gullivers Travels 1726 from watching people at a distance across the lake in Belvedere.
9 The Hill of Uisneach believed to be the ‘other’ centre of Celtic Ireland, Tara being the most well known and celebrated seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Dedicated to Lugh and famous for 6metre high ‘Cat Stone’.
10 Corlea Bog Trackway very interesting site displaying a section of ancient bog road which provided a safe passage for those same high kings of Ireland on route to Uisneach.