The Office of Public Works (OPW) has announced that Annes Grove House and Gardens, near Castletownroche, Co. Cork, has opened to the public, according to a statement published on Gov.ie.
According to the statement published on Gov.ie, after the donation of the historic estate to the state by the Annesley family in December 2015, the grounds underwent the first phase of extensive restoration works, and now – on the cusp of rare rhododendrons, magnolias, and cherry trees bursting into full bloom – the gardens are ready to welcome visitors for the 2022 season, but only by paid guided tour from 8 April to 22 September.
Statements By Minister Of State With Responsibility For The Office Of Public Works
The statement published on Gov.ie included one from the Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD, in which he said, “I wish to thank the Annesley family for their generosity of spirit, ensuring the legacy of previous generations is secured by donating this important historical estate to the state, and thereby sharing it with us all. I have no doubt Annes Grove will become a vibrant destination for visitors and will provide significant support to the economic and cultural development in the North Cork region.
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“Ireland’s gardens enjoy huge popularity, both with domestic and international visitors, and we are very privileged in the OPW to care for an entire network of rare and fine plant collections spanning the country, from the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin and Kilmacurragh to Altamont, the JFK Arboretum, Fota, Garinish Island, Derrynane and Annes Grove.
“These are places of discovery and well-being – not just for garden lovers, but also for our youngest generations – and I look forward especially to the free school tours we will be able to facilitate here, as at all our OPW sites, contributing to children’s education in Ireland with special memories of these wonderful gardens and their history.”
O’Donovan added, “Howley Hayes Cooney have been appointed by the OPW to oversee the conservation of the buildings on this estate. The OPW is on track to lodge a planning application in 2022 for the conservation of the main house, ancillary buildings in the farmyard, for car and bus parking, and staff facilities. All of these works will contribute to creating a world-class visitor experience at Annes Grove, to rival the very best existing sites throughout Ireland.”
Statement By Patrick Grove Annesley
The statement published on Gov.ie also included one from Patrick Grove Annesley, who gifted the estate to the state, in which he said, “I am delighted that the OPW is embarking on the reopening of Annes Grove gardens. I’ve seen how much hard work the gardening team have been putting into preparing for this. Annes Grove has a long tradition of welcoming visitors, and it was a great sadness for my family when we had no alternative but to close its gates in 2009. I know that the OPW is now developing an exciting vision for the future of Annes Grove, involving not just the gardens, but also creative uses for the house and surrounding buildings, so that the value of the whole property, both to the local community and to visitors from further afield, will continue to increase as years go by.”
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