Wednesday, 11 April 2012

J is for Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Eire

Johnstown Castle is situated in Ireland – outside of the United Kingdom – in the county of Wexford at the south east corner of Eire, but to my mind is British as I needed an interesting “J”!

Johnstown Castle, Wexford
The Wexford website describes the castle thus: 

The harmony between great Victorian revival castles and their surrounding ornamental grounds is rarely seen to such perfection as at Johnstown Castle.

The mature woodlands and lakes of this demesne provide the perfect setting for this turreted, battlemented and machicolated castle of gleaming silver-grey ashlar, built for the Grogan Morgan family between 1810 and 1855and incorporating part of a more ancient castle.

The property was presented as a gift to the Irish Nation in 1945 and was later occupied by the Department of Agriculture, who established an agricultural institute here and undertook to maintain but not alter the ornamental gardens.

 The beautiful grounds with magnificent trees would be a delight to walk round, accompanied by the peacocks and peahens; while the main emphasis on the Estate now is the Agricultural Museum.

Story of Ferguson
Tractors - models

Butter Press and
small churn
These collections provide a wonderful historical record – including the history of the earlier Norman estate; then to whet your appetite for a visit (it certainly has done mine) – 

the other 17 exhibitions: 

Ø The Curator’s Choice;
Ø Transport;
Ø Harry Ferguson Tractor Display;
Ø The Garden Room;
Ø Power Driven Barn Machines;
Ø Sugar Beet Room;
Ø Bicycle Display;
Ø The Great Famine;
Ø Village Crafts Exhibition;
Ø Equestrian Room;
Ø Picture Gallery;
Ø The Dairy;
Ø Poultry Keeping;
Ø Managing the Land;
Ø Country Furniture;
Ø The James O’Keefe Furniture Room. and finally
Ø the Country Kitchens.

Beet Sugar
Personally I think this would be a fascinating museum to visit – especially if I could wander in their estate grounds on a beautiful summer’s day just taking in the breath-taking beauty that features in Wexford’s website – trees, flowering shrubs, flower borders et al ...

Johnstown Castle that is what J is for ... now a record of Irish rural history in a museum set within an agricultural estate ... part of the ABC series Aspects of British Castles

Bob Scotney featured Inverness Castle as his I Castle yesterday

Photos from County Wexford website and
      from the Irish Agricultural Museum's website

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Bob Scotney said...

Certainly a more inspiring castle than the one I picked. Johnstown never came up in my search for a 'J'.

Juliet said...

I've never heard of an agricultural museum before, and it sounds fascinating. You are whetting my appetite for travel with these posts Hilary. Imagine taking a castle tour of the British Isles!


Wonderful post as usual Hilary, Never went to Wexford whilst living in Ireland must go back for a visit some day.


Nick Wilford said...

I've never been to Ireland at all. I'd love to go and see this castle. The Agricultural Museum sounds good, anything with an insight into people's daily lives is interesting to me.

Old Kitty said...

I am totally in love with the castle's website for using the words "demesne" "turreted, battlemented and machicolated" in one continuous paragraph! Yay! Take care

Karen Walker said...

It's absolutely beautiful. Sorry I missed it when I went to Ireland.

Jo said...

Another beautiful castle Hilary even if you are stretching the British part LOL.

helen tilston said...

Hello Hilary

What a stunning castle. I have not visited yet. Thanks for sharing


Manzanita said...

That is a mighty impressive looking castle, waiting to do the battle of roses with it's turrets and exceptionally beautiful grounds.Wouldn't it be exciting to spend one night in a castle. Id love it.

Unknown said...

Yes! I want to visit! But for now, I'll have to be satisfied with a virtual A to Z visit. Darn. I love castles.


Unknown said...

It would be interesting to see it and all it's exhibits. I think the Beet one would be wonderful.

Bish Denham said...

Beautiful! I would love to go galumphing about the grounds.

Laura Eno said...

I would love to spend some time in the UK doing nothing but traveling from castle to castle. That would be a dream come true!

A to Z of Immortals, Myths & Legends

T. Powell Coltrin said...

a castle museum? I love it and would love to visit.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - I know I struggled with J - and wanted something interesting - hence the J for jump to Ireland!

@ Juliet - I know there are few around, not necessarily tied in with a Castle though - but the Irish agricultural connection sounds fascinating. OK - perhaps we'll see you over here .. sometime?

@ Yvonne - I went through Wexford to the mountains and then back to Cork .. so I remember beautiful scenery - but never got the coast.

@ Nick - Ireland is stunningly beautiful .. I've been twice .. once to the west as 'a kid' .. and then a brief stop in Dublin. I was rather taken with the Agricultural Museum - so glad you are too .. I like the way they've categorised the displays ..

@ Old Kitty - aren't the words great - they evoke names from the Channel Islands .. and I was rather taken with Ashlar too ...

@ Karen - there's so much to see isn't there .. sadly we can't do it all ..

@ Jo - well I did need to stretch a little - but it is interesting and that's what counts ..

@ Helen - hallo again to you too - so good to see you. Lots of castles to look at .. glad you enjoyed it ..

@ Manzanita - they certainly all had turreted battlements somewhere along the line, but the Wars of the Roses were in the north of England ...

There are places to stay in some castles - and it would be exciting wouldn't it .. those grounds would be glorious to wake up to ..

@ Lucy - welcome, good to meet you .. sorry about the virtual tour - still one day perhaps you'll get to visit?

@ Clarissa - I'd like to do that too - and the Beet Sugar exhibition I thought would be fun ..

@ Bish - ah! galumphing hefferlumps - a few children will be doing that I'm sure ..

@ Laura - actually so would I - without a care in the world .. just touring and visiting .. eating locally .. just a wonderful thought ..

@ Teresa - there've been a few museums attached ... but I just liked the agricultural emphasis of this one ..

Cheers everyone - lovely to have your comments .. thanks so much for visiting .. Hilary

Glynis Peters said...

I never realised there were so many castles in the UK. I thought I had visited and new most of them, but obviously not!

D.E. Malone said...

The castles in the UK have always fascinated me! Someday I will visit! Thanks for the pictorial history lesson! Lovely and very interesting!

Sarah Allen said...

I want to visit there right now!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Lynn Proctor said...

didn't know all the castles were there--fascinating!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Beautiful castle! I'd love to go to Ireland to see the agricultural museum! Julie

Lynn said...

So gorgeous! If I ever get to Ireland, maybe I'll stop there.

Theresa Milstein said...

I never heard the term "Victorian revival castle". I saw a few castle ruins when I was in Ireland, but not that gorgeous one!

Joyce said...

I hopped over from Stephen Tremps blog since I'm a fan of castles. We lived in a village about fifteen miles from Central London for six+ years...moved back to the states in 2009. My girls were teenagers during our expat years and loved the experience too. They called some outings 'the 3 C's...castles, cathedrals, and churches. We've seen many!

Windsor is my favorite but I lived nearby and was there often. I'm going back to read your post on Dover because that's another one I loved. Great topic for the A-Z!

Friko said...

Interesting. As I've never been to Eire I've never seen it. Nor yet heard of it. Thanks for illuminating me.

Rosaria Williams said...

Always fascinating to see so many beautiful, old castles still inhabited and kept up.

Chuck said...

A friend of mine a few years ago traveled to Ireland and I know she visited at least one castle. She said it was unbelievable. I'll have to ask her if this was it. This one is absolutely beautiful.

Heather Murphy said...

Oh, I will have to bookmark this one and add it to my bucket list, being Irish and all :) Thanks so much for dropping by my blog and following

Think Positive, Be Positive said...

Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z Challenge. Lovely blog...good luck with the challenge!

Donna L Martin

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis .. there are plenty - I think it would take many months, years perhaps .. I hope there are few here from my list or Bob's list that might entice a visit ..

@ Dawn - delighted to meet you .. and that will be wonderful if you can visit .. in the meantime enjoy the pictorial history ..

@ Sarah - so do I!! Just a quick flight out ..

@ Lynn - and all so interesting ..

@ Julie - I share your thoughts - I'd really like to see the agricultural museum, sometime I hope I will!

@ Lynn - Ireland is lovely .. but historically this looks fascinating ..

@ Theresa .. I guess it was 'rescued' in Victorian times - and yes there are plenty of ruins around - it does look gorgeous doesn't it ..

@ Joyce - good to meet you .. and Windsor is a magnificent castle - we lived near there as kids ..

.. I bet your children have happy memories - even if traipsing around "yet another" C, C or C .. castle, cathedral or church - wasn't so much fun for them!!

I hope you enjoyed the Dover post - I'd love to visit now they've refurbished it ..

@ Friko - Ireland/Eire is very pretty - while this castle-museum looks extremely historically interesting ...

@ Rosaria - glad you're enjoying my selections!

@ Chuck - this is quite a long way south .. unless she was visiting Waterford Crystal (glass factory) at the same time ..

@ Heather - thanks for commenting - and glad this was the one Irish castle I've used - as you're Irish. See you anon -I hope.

@ Donna - good to meet you .. and glad you're enjoying the challenge ..

Thanks everyone - wonderful to have your comments and input - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary! Found your post for the letter J very interesting. I also found it interesting that an agricultural institute was established there. It's nice to know that they still have the ornamental gardens.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne .. the family must have been and are quite forward thinking, and were/are determined to preserve their history and the unique history of Ireland.

Many estates are going back to their original roots and restoring their gardens .... which is just great.

Good to see you - thank so much for coming by .. Hilary

Robyn Campbell said...

I love looking at the butter press and churn, Hilary. I am learning so much from you. Especially this weekend as I try to catch up. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Robyn .. well you've read about a few castles (working back from S) .. but this Agricultural Museum I think would be fascinating to visit. I love seeing these old tools and dies restored to working existence, or preserved for us.

Well done on catching up .. cheers for now - Hilary