Situated just outside Carlow town and originally a Georgian home of a noted Anglo-Irish family, Duckett’s Grove was rebuilt in flamboyant, Gothic revival style.
The 18th, 19th and early 20th Century home of the Duckett family, was formerly at the centre of a twelve thousand-acre estate that has dominated the Carlow landscape for over three hundred years. Following extensive and sensitive restoration, the revived walled gardens and wooded pleasure grounds are now open to the public.
The building incorporates numerous towers and turrets of varying shapes - round, square and octagonal. One tall octagonal turret, rising from the structure, is elaborately ornamented with oriels and niches containing statues. The house is situated in the townland of Rainstown, between Carlow and Tullow, but the estate itself comprised several large townlands and parts of others.
The first phase of the revival of two old walled gardens has now been completed, the old paths revealed and the beds and borders reinstated. Style-wise, the new planting schemes echoes the past, yet reflects changing fashions, by utilising plants and planting patterns that may have evolved over time.
Duckett’s Grove Design
– Craft and Food Emporium includes a large craft retail display area, four craft workshops featuring woodturning, stained glass and jewellery. Tea room serves tea, coffee and light snacks.
Open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The upper walled garden:
Hedged with boxwood, is planted with historical varieties of shrub roses, a collection of Chinese and Japanese peonies, a great variety of hardy and tender perennials and choice flowering shrubs, including echium, watsonia, acanthus, jovellana, daphniphyllum, acradenia, arbutus, cornus, iris, eryngium, beschorneria, euporbia and, to really test the microclimate of the gardens, some ornamental bananas.
The lower walled garden:
Once the site of the old orchard, contains a variety of fruits, including figs and historical varieties of Irish apples amongst others.
Also contain a variety of shrubs and perennials, each echoing the past history of the gardens and people associated with Duckett’s Grove. Restored paths and the repaired sunken stone bridge, plus plantings of oak, lime, hazel, spindle and laurel, rekindle the spirit of the Georgian Pleasure Grounds.