Don’t miss the beautiful walled garden at Bunratty House. It is a surviving part of the demesne which was originally formed around Bunratty Castle.
The garden was built for the house c 1804. As walled gardens though it is small, just less than half an acre, this was due to the fact that a large garden would have existed within the demesne, located north of the castle. This large garden would have functioned as a kitchen garden for Bunratty House and therefore it was unnecessary to have another large production garden.
The garden was built on the east side of the house and beyond the stables protected from the prevailing westerly winds. It is enclosed by four original stone walls forming an irregular space. Apart from the walls, no original features remain except for a disused entrance to the south wall near the house, which would have been used by the family and a cart entrance near the south east corner, with original Iron Gates. Views from the garden to the east overlook the reclaimed salt marshes of the Owengarney River Valley and to the south toward the River Shannon Estuary.
The gardens at Bunratty Folk Park have been restored with the assistance of an ERDF grant through the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration programme. The project includes the environs of the Folk Park as well as the formal walled Regency Garden adjacent to Bunratty House. Each of the garden plots of the vernacular dwellings in the Folk Park have also been restored, with special attention to the planting and land use of the period. The concept creates a product, which is unique in Ireland and the rest of Europe. Its uniqueness is in the fact that the gardens and environs form part of the history of the everyday lives of the inhabitants of the houses as well as depicting our horticultural heritage.