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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.
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.
The parkland at Russborough is open seven days a week from 2nd January to 23rd December, 10.00 am to 6.00 pm.
January-February: house closed
March, November, December: 12.00 pm – 3.00 pm (every day on the hour including Bank Holiday Mondays)
April, October: 12.00 pm – 3.00 pm (Mon-Fri, on the hour) | 10.00 am – 5.00 pm (Sat-Sun & Bank Holiday Mon, on the hour)
May-September: 10.00 pm – 5.00 pm (on the hour)
National Bird of Prey Centre – this new attraction opened officially in July 2016. 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. Please call 045-857755 for details of flying displays. Open 7 days a week during the summer months from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm; winter months open Sat/Sun 11.00 am to 4.00 pm. Phone to clarify other opening times. Adults €8; concessions. See the Centre’s website – www.nationalbirdofpreycentre.ie
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. In March and April the walled garden is open on Wed and Sat from 10.30 am- 3.30 pm. From June to August the garden is open Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri from 2.00 pm- 5.00 pm; and on Wed & Sat from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm.
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. Available for group bookings only.
Russborough, Blessington, Co Wicklow.
Tel: 045 865 239.
Adults – House tour and exhibition €12.
Concessions for students, children, seniors. Maze €3. Car parking fee €2.