Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens has a long and colourful story stretching over 800 years. Situated outside Wexford town in Ireland’s south east, it is not only a significant property of national importance but a place of great romantic charm and tranquility. The spectacular lake walks, walled gardens and sculptures all offer the beautiful setting for the great 19th-century castle.
Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens opened in summer 2019 as a brand new ‘3 in 1’ visitor attraction – a significant addition for Irish tourism and Ireland’s Ancient East. Conservation and upgrading works on the Gothic-Revival Castle have been undertaken and guided tours are now available for the first time on a daily basis, including the unique servants’ tunnel at an incredible 86 metres long.
This new attraction also includes the Irish Agricultural Museum’s exhibitions in the castle courtyard building. Visitors can also enjoy the walks in the stunning woodlands around the picturesque castle lakes with Gothic towers and statues. An additional fully accessible 1.5km lower lake walk opened with a new woodland children’s play area. The lower lake now has accessible pathways for the first time in a hundred years.
The Irish Heritage Trust, an independent not-for-profit organisation, was announced in 2015 as the successful applicant to work with Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority & owners of the Johnstown Castle Estate – and the Irish Agricultural Museum, to oversee a capital development programme. The Trust is now the operator of this new and exciting visitor experience to benefit the wider community sustainably over the long term.
This first phase of conservation and development works is thanks to generous funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, and Fáilte Ireland. Much more work remains to be done in the coming years but for now, Johnstown’s future is safeguarded. The Irish Heritage Trust plans to continuously reinvest in Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens so that visitors and members experiences are constantly improving and changing according to the high standards expected in today’s world.
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The Irish Heritage Trust is an independent not-for-profit, established in 2006 to care for and bring to life historic properties, houses and gardens throughout Ireland. The Trust combines the creation of great visitor’s experiences with the added gain of bringing benefit to local communities through tourism and employment.
The Trust has had great success in developing other heritage projects and bringing places to life over the years including Fota House and Gardens in Cork and Strokestown Park and The National Famine Museum, Roscommon and has received a number of prestigious national and international awards for its work.
The Irish Heritage Trust is headquartered at No. 11 Parnell Square, Dublin and looks forward to bringing this beautiful historic building back to life as well as a shared heritage space that can be enjoyed by the public for generations to come. www.irishheritagetrust.ie.