Bantry House And Gardens
Bantry House is a stately home overlooking Bantry Bay in the south west of Ireland. It is owned by Egerton & Brigitte Shelswell-White and their children.
The House offers self guided tours of the 3 floors, including Drawing Rooms with tapestries from Versailles, the Dining Room and Library.
The structure of the garden as we know it today, dates back to the second Earl of Bantry’s travels. Both he and Mary, his wife, travelled with notebooks and sketchbooks (now in the Archive at University College Cork) at hand, which helped to transform the small house at home into a “palazzo” comparable to those he had seen on the continent.
The ‘Cardinal Rule’ to be applied was that house, garden and site must be a unit, as if one could not have been conceived without the others.
He terraced the land around the house, seven terraces in all, with the house sitting on the third terrace. A parterre facing south surrounding a wisteria circle which again surrounds a fountain was also created. From there rise the famous Hundred Steps, a monumental staircase built of local stone, set amidst azaleas and rhododendron.
The garden, indeed the whole demesne, had fallen into great neglect over many years. In 1997, due to the offer of EEC grant, the decision was taken to start restorationwork on the garden.
The grant came to an end in 2000, but thankfully work in the garden is ongoing. Woodland is being cleared and maintenance of the restored areas kept to a high standard.
All Bed and Breakfast accomodation in the East and West Wings of the House overlook the Italianate Gardens, Fountain and Hundred Steps.
Visitors are welcome to enjoy light lunches, teas, coffees, wine and beer in the tearoom which is open from 10am till 5.30pm
Bantry House And Gardens Opening Times
15th March to 31st Oct daily from 10am to 6pm
Bantry House And GardensAdmission to the House and Gardens
€10 per person ( children under 14 yrs accompanied by an adult is free);
Special rate of €8 per person as part of a group.