A floral history

The gardens at Ashford Castle were largely created by the Guinness family who owned Ashford Castle for around 100 years, more specifically, Lady Ardilaun, who was responsible for laying out the existing structure of terraces and walks which so define the gardens today.

This was in the 1890s, and photographs from that period give a very interesting perspective on the original layout. The first proper restoration of the gardens was carried out in the 1990s, 100 years after their creation; based on the original plans laid out by Lady Ardilaun.

Ashford Castle Fountain

The fountain

The Tollman Garden, formerly known as the Sunken Garden, is one of several formal gardens arranged along the main terrace walk in the grounds of Ashford Castle. These gardens, laid out by the Guinness family in the nineteenth century, are amongst the finest of the many beautiful country house gardens to be found in Ireland. 

In 1996 a circular pond, measuring eleven metres in diameter, was constructed in the centre of the rectangular lawn that was then known as the Sunken Garden, so called because of the high planted banks that surrounded it. The garden was approached down steps from the Velvet Garden to the east, and from a tunnel leading from the Walled Garden on the west, and also down steps from the terrace walk on the north side. It consisted only of a rectangular walkway leading around the lawn with no paths leading to the central pond.