The fine entrance gates at
the porticoed gated lodge on the Turnpike Road, north of Doneraile town, Co. Cork, mark
the formal entrance to a great landscaped estate - 160 hectares of parklands with mature
groves of deciduous trees and a number of deer herds.
The greater part of the work at Doneraile was undertaken in the early eighteenth century.
The fashion in landscape gardening at this period was exemplified, if not largely formed,
by the achievements of the English landscape architect, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.
Capability Brown landscaping is an art of illusion. The immediate impression created is
that nature, not man, has shaped the landscape. In the hollows of the landscape, water is
the important element, artificially diverted into canals, cascades, and ponds, and spanned
by elegant stone bridges. Eighteenth century water gardening is seen to good effect at
Doneraile. The main avenue at Doneraile winds for a mile through the park on its way to
The Pleasure Ground at Doneraile, on the garden side of the house, contains some
unusual trees, including redwoods, Chusan palms and a Cork oak. Here also are specimens of
cherry, yew, variegated sycamore and plane. The date of the building of the house is
uncertain, some architectural historians believe that the basement dates from the late
seventeenth century. The 1st Viscount Doneraile may have occupied the house shortly after
he got married in 1690.
Pathways are generally accessible for people with disabilities.
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