Russborough House is a stunning Palladian mansion designed in 1741 by Richard Cassels. It is one of the most beautiful houses in Ireland. It was purchased by Sir Alfred and Lady Beit in 1952 to house their impressive art collection. The mansion and its world class art collection were left to the Irish State in 1978. The estate is home to a wide range of activities, from the public tours of the house, to privately booked workshops with craftspersons based on the grounds.
Attractions available include a top class house tour, a very detailed exhibition (in the main house basement) covering the life and times of the Beits, a 20,000 sq ft maze, an 18th Century walled garden, a children’s playground, a gift shop, and a café. One can also visit the work of a range of artisans.
Don’t miss out on the compact Beit cinema, the music room and an opportunity to enjoy some of Alfred Beit’s extensive photograph collection in the separate 3D auditorium. There are also extensive walks in a beautifully landscaped setting.
Parkland – Russborough sits on over 200 acres of beautiful parkland, scattered with historical landmarks such as an 18th Century ice house, a hippodrome, a Japanese bridge, and a lime kiln.
The 18th century walled garden is a partnership between Russborough and the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland.
National Bird of Prey Centre – Located in the Parklands area, you can view hawks, falcons, eagles and owls from around the world, along with the recently re-introduced red kite, golden eagle and white tailed sea eagle. It offers various experiences which require advanced booking. Public tours may be available during peak periods, see the centre’s website: nationalbirdofpreycentre.ie for details.
Sheepdog Demonstrations – Michael Crowe, a local farmer, hosts sheepdog demonstrations at Russborough. Visitors can see working border collies in action. The beautiful views and scenery at Russborough create the perfect backdrop. Come and learn a little about the Wicklow cheviot and many other breeds of sheep, being managed by expertly trained sheepdogs. They are based on a nearby farm, but may also available for bookings at Russborough House. Group bookings only, check their website for details.
The parkland at Russborough is open seven days a week from 2nd January to 23rd December, 9am to 6pm.
House tours run on the hour from 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week (booking recommended).
The Walled Garden opens:
Tues & Thu 12pm – 4pm
Weds & Sat 10.30am – 3pm
Sun 2pm – 5pm
Opening times and availability of attractions are seasonal and subject to change. There are also attractions and special events which must be booked in advance. It is recommended to check the website for the details.