Belvedere House Gardens and Park
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Belvedere House and Gardens in County Westmeath is a restored country estate with 160 acres of parkland. Built in 1740 as a hunting lodge for the Earl of Belvedere, it boasts Ireland’s largest folly, the Jealous Wall, a stunning Gothic ruin.
Belvedere House and Gardens is an 18th-century hunting lodge in County Westmeath, designed by renowned Palladian architect Richard Cassels. Thousands of visitors from Ireland and beyond visit Belvedere House and Gardens annually to tour the house, view the magnificent gardens and enjoy lakeshore walks.
Built in 1740 for Robert Rochfort, the first Earl of Belvedere, the estate remains an architectural landmark with Diocletian windows and dramatic 19th-century terracing. French stuccodore Barthelemy Cramillion completed the rococo plasterwork ceilings—some of the finest examples in the country.
Belvedere House has been fully restored and the grounds are well maintained, attracting over 160,000 visitors every year. The estate’s landscaped demesne features one of the largest and most beautiful garden follies in the country, the Jealous Wall, built to block the Earl’s view of his estranged brother's neighbouring estate. This artificial ruin is built in the form of the remains of a sprawling Gothic castle and creates a romantic silhouette against the skyline.
The Victorian walled garden at Belvedere House was designed in 1857 by Ninian Niven, curator of the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, and contains one of Ireland's finest collections of rare and special plants. The Belvedere stable block is home to a modern visitor centre with a fully licensed café, the Catoca Courtyard Café.
Visitors looking for outdoor activities at Belvedere House and Gardens will be spoiled for choice. 160 acres of parkland await, along with 6 km of magnificent woodland and lakeshore walks. Close to the Belvedere Visitor Centre are two children's play areas including one called the Narnia Trail; a third is located at the lakeshore, where, if they dare, visitors can take a zip-line through the forest.
Belvedere is open all year round with a full calendar of events; the summer season sees the estate play host to a series of weekend music events like Life Festival, as well as garden theatre performances. With partial access for the disabled and a range of family-friendly amenities, Belvedere House and Gardens is the perfect destination for a family day out in Westmeath.