In 1893, a successful Dublin solicitor named Trevor Overend purchased an 18th century farmhouse in Dundrum, Co. Dublin. The property was eventually inherited by his two daughters, Letitia and Naomi Overend. They lived there all their lives and prior to their death they set up the Airfield Trust, so that the estate would be kept intact for educational and recreational purposes.
The Overend ladies were well known for their prize-winning Jersey herd, named after characters from Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. They were regular prize winners at the RDS Spring Show. Their life and times can be appreciated via the Airfield House exhibition. The lasting effects of their fundraising and charity work for St John’s Ambulance brigade and Children’s Sunshine Home can be seen through an impressive collection of photographs, diaries and press clippings. They were also ladies who knew how to enjoy themselves, as evidenced by the memorabilia they gathered from their travels. Both sisters were also very interested in gardening.
The Airfield farm, gardens, restaurant and heritage experience offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy and learn about food, farming, gardening, history and heritage in a natural and relaxed environment.
Airfield farm is the life blood of the estate, supplying the Overends restaurant with food and the gardens with fertiliser. Two farmers are on hand to guide visitors through the workings of the farm, from daily milking to egg collecting, mucking out and feeding. The new farmyard includes livestock housing and stables and allows easy visitor access to the animals, the milking parlour and dairy kitchen.
Throughout the year specialised events like lambing, calving and shearing highlight what is typically going on in farms around the country. Airfield is a working farm with a milking Jersey herd, as well as sheep, pigs, chickens and donkeys. The farm has 50 laying hens including Rhode Island Red Hybrids and fancy fowl such as Legbars and Arucanas.
The gardens at Airfield have been re-designed by the award winning landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. There is a refurbished walled garden and a tea garden. The freshly designed New Food Garden is a place where Airfield shares its commitment to the production and consumption of local, seasonal home grown food. The vineyard is an interesting addition to an Irish kitchen garden as is the display of native Irish apple trees.
The display garage for vintage cars is a fine setting for Letitia’s 1927 Rolls Royce, Naomi’s Austin Tickford and Lily’s Peugeot Quadrilette.
Heritage tours of the family house, garage, gardens and farm daily from Wed-Sun at 11.30 am and 2.30 pm (check for availability). Animal feeding daily at 3.30 pm. Cows milked daily at 10.30 am.
Sept-June: Mon-Sun 9.30 am-5.00 pm
July & Aug: Mon-Sun 9.30 am-6.00 pm
Restaurant Mon-Fri 9.00 am-4.00 pm (phone 01-9696641) [Sat/Sun/Bank Holidays 9.00 am-5.00 pm]
Closures can occur in January for essential site works and training.
Overend Way, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Tel: 01-969 6666
Adults €10; concessions