National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh


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vert bar National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh
Last updated: September 19, 2011
Kilmacurragh Pond Vista

Located in east County Wicklow, Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens is the centrepiece of an 18th century estate that once covered over 5000 acres (2000 ha). Seat of the Acton family for three centuries, it is now an outpost of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. The milder climate, higher rainfall and deeper, acidic soils of this historic Wicklow garden, provide a counterpoint to the collections at Glasnevin. The association of Kilmacurragh with the National Botanic Gardens began in 1854, when Thomas Acton inherited the estate and greatly benefited from the advice and support of Dr. David Moore and his son Sir Frederick Moore, Curators of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin in Dublin.
Kilmacurragh provided a more advantageous situation for growing plants from the Himalaya and the Southern Hemisphere and is today famous for its conifers and calcifuges.

In 1996, a 52 acre (21 ha) portion of the old demesne comprising the house, arboretum, entrance drive and woodlands officially became part of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. By then the house was in ruins due to a series of disastrous fires in and the following ten years were spent rescuing valuable trees from a crippling tangle of cherry laurel, sycamore and Rhododendron ponticum.