Avondale House and Forest Park
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Avondale Forest Park, in Rathdrum County Wicklow, has been the home of Irish Forestry since 1904. Avondale House was the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891). Together they make a worthwhile visit.
Avondale House in Rathdrum, County Wicklow, was the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) one of the greatest political leaders in Irish history. The forest park that surrounds Avondale House is 214 hectares of magnificent parkland on the west bank of the Avonmore River. Avondale Forest Park has been the home of Irish Forestry since 1904. It was in Avondale that the first silvicultural experimental plots were laid out along the lines of a continental forest garden and today it has an extensive collection of trees and shrubs from around the globe.
Avondale Forest Park has much to offer the visitor whether their interest is in national history, the development of forestry in Ireland or in the extensive collection of trees and shrubs from around the world. Avondale offers endless variety to walkers with its scenery ranging from the magnificent openness of the Great Ride to the towering impressiveness of the massed conifers on the banks of the Avonmore. The ruins of Parnell’s old sawmill and Parnell’s well are located on the site.
The State purchased Avondale in 1904 and today the park has seven way-marked walks and trails. Avondale also hosts a permanent orienteering course (download maps for this course from the Coillte outdoors site prior to arrival). Avondale is home to most of our common woodland animals including red squirrel, badger, hedgehog, stoat and fox. The rabbit and hare are occasionally visitors. Rich bird life exists with over ninety species having been recorded here.
Avondale House was built in 1777 for Samuel Hayes. When he died in 1795 the house passed to the Parnell Family. It was at Avondale that Charles Stewart Parnell, one of the greatest political leaders of modern Irish history, was born in 1846. The House is now a museum to his memory.
Additional facilities include the Kitchen Café (serving light tasty home food, ideal lunch or coffee stop) picnic areas, a play area, coach and car park, public toilets and designated barbeque area.
Pay parking in place (only coins - no notes)
Guided Tours Available by Prior Arrangement:
Duration of the tours are approximately one hour and include an audio-visual display of the history of Parnell and Avondale. Written language guides are also available.
Disabled Access: Limited, ground floor of house.