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The Gardens

Formal terraces descend from Turlough Park House to the lake

Reconnect with nature, unwind and refresh in the award-winning gardens of Turlough Park.

This picturesque demesne has a network of walkways through 30 acres of formal Victorian gardens, 18th century parkland and woodland.

The path along the river and around the lake provides excellent views of the gardens and the impressive round tower that overlooks the estate. 

The gardens are open year round and every season has its own unique appeal, whether it is flowerbeds full of summer blooms, the woodland changing to autumn hues, the quietude of winter or spring bursting into life.

There is a rich variety of birdlife, flora and fauna to discover in this Green Flag biodiverse space, which is also a designated Green Heritage site.  

Interesting garden features include the glass house, a lean-to vinery, various outdoor art installations, a mix of fine mature trees, flower beds, borders and more.

For younger woodland explorers, there are endless opportunities for adventure, surprise and delight - particularly in the woodland playground built into the 'sunken garden'.

WATCH: Groundskeeper Noreen Hennigan on the gardens and parkland at Turlough Park

History of the gardens 

The estate of Turlough Park was home to the Fitzgerald family for almost 350 years and encompassed 8,500 acres at its largest. Today, the gardens consist of 39 acres of parkland, formal gardens and woodland. 

The site has many fine mature trees, a legacy from the parkland that was laid out for the 18th century house. This bow-fronted structure is now in ruins but still visible on the right hand side of the avenue near the entrance gate to Turlough Park. 

Victorian gardens

In the mid-19th century, the gardens were re-designed and landscaped to Victorian fashion to complement the 1865 house which visitors see today.

New features were incorporated including grass terraces, picnic islands, formal flowerbeds, a croquet lawn and a tennis court. The turlough was dammed to form a lake.

The original glass house was built between 1874 and 1875 and was heated by a saddleback boiler, still visible through the safety grill. It was destroyed by a violent storm in the 1930s but rebuilt by Mayo Council Council in 2000 using the original hand-fired floor tiles and iron roof cresting.

Richard Turner

Richard Turner, the Dublin ironmaster who designed the Curvilinear Range at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, possibly designed the iron lean-to vinery adjoining the stables. 

The entrance gates were made in his Dublin iron foundry. 

Fáilte Ireland and the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Programme supported an extensive restoration of the Victorian gardens and parkland. Today, the gardens are maintained by Mayo County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Round tower

Visible from the Museum grounds is a striking and distinctive round tower, one of five such surviving structures in Co Mayo. These towers are usually dated to the 11th or 12th centuries and associated with monastic sites. The church at Turlough is reputed to have been founded by St Patrick. 

Victorian Gothic house

The architect Thomas Newenham Deane designed Turlough Park House. The architectural style of the house has been referred to as 'Victorian Gothic'.


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Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo,
F23 HY31

+353 94 903 1755