Neil Porteous at Huntington Castle

  • Five Northern Irish Gardens – Mount Stewart, Rowallane, Castlewellan, Rostrevor and Brook Hall

    Renowned garden historian Neil Porteous takes us on an enchanting journey through five of Northern Ireland’s most captivating gardens. Discover the rich heritage and diverse landscapes that characterise these renowned gardens, with each offering its own unique blend of history, horticulture and natural beauty.

    Mount Stewart, with its stunning neo-classical house and world-renowned gardens, showcases a blend of formal design and naturalistic planting schemes. Rowallane’s charming landscape features include formal terraces, woodland walks and a stunning walled garden bursting with colour.

    Castlewellan, nestled within the picturesque Castlewellan Forest Park, boasts an impressive Victorian castle, maze and arboretum, while Rostrevor offers a tranquil escape with its beautiful views, woodland trails and exotic plantings. Finally, Brook Hall, a hidden gem in the Northern Irish countryside, invites visitors to explore its enchanting gardens and tranquil lakeside setting.

    Neil Porteous will delve into the history, design principles and botanical highlights of each garden, offering insight and inspiration for both seasoned garden enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Don’t miss this opportunity to uncover the secrets of these extraordinary Northern Irish gardens.

  • About Neil Porteous

    Neil Porteous is a gardening consultant working in Ireland with long experience of being a head gardener and gardens advisor, much of it for the National Trust. Most recently, he was head gardener at Mount Stewart, County Down. He has a love of garden history and received his MA in Garden History from Bristol University. Neil approaches the subject as a gardener and not as an art historian. He continues to work as a head gardener at Glenarm Castle, County Antrim and has many advisory commissions throughout the island of Ireland including Castlewellan and many OPW (Office of Public Works) gardens. He enjoys botanical travel, and believes it is important for gardeners to see how plants grow in their native habitat. He has just returned from botanizing for five weeks in New Zealand and Victoria.


  • Tour the Castle’s Historic Interior

    A guided tour of Huntington Castle provides a window into both its fascinating past, and the lives of the family who call the castle home today. Hear stories of the castle’s historical occupants, while wandering through passages to the living quarters, formal rooms and even the dungeon. Beautiful Aubusson French tapestries, ornate carpets and fabulous portraits of ancestors from years gone by can all be enjoyed on the tour. The conservatory features the historic grape vine which is a cutting from the famous Hampton Court Palace “Great Vine’’, while the Temple of Goddess can be exclusively accessed in the dungeon.

    House tours available 2 – 5 p.m. with last tour at 5 p.m. Cost €12.95 per adult, child < 12 €6.00, concessions €11, infant free, family (2 adults and 2 children) €30. To book a house tour in advance visit or book at the tea room upon arrival.

Date: 29 July 2024

Start Date: 29 July 2024

Start Time: 11:00 am

End Date: 29 July 2024

End Time: 11:00 am

Time: 11:00 am

Admission: €12.50 includes admission to Huntington Castle Gardens. Tea room serves delicious cakes, and speciality teas and coffees while the gift shop has a lovely range of carefully curated books and gifts.

Directions: Y21 K237. From Dublin/Waterford exit the M9 at junction 5 for N80 Rosslare. Continue along the N80 through the village of Ballon. Approx. 4 km from Ballon take a left turn (clearly signposted) to reach the village of Clonegal. The entrance gates to Huntington Castle are at the lower end of the village, adjacent to the Sha-Roe Restaurant.

Type of event: This talk takes place indoors in the Barn Theatre. Afterwards there is an opportunity to view the gardens in Huntington Castle.


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