Russborough House & Parklands
Located less than an hour from Dublin in beautiful countryside near Blessington, County Wicklow, the historic house of Russborough is a must-see part of Ireland’s complex history. The Alfred Beit Foundation owns and operates Russborough House & Parklands, its mission is to promote education in the fine arts in Ireland and to preserve and make accessible to the public the house, collections and demesne. Russborough is a Palladian mansion built from local granite 275 years ago which now has a protected view to preserve the vista that persuaded the First Earl of Milltown to build Russborough in its current location with its magnificent unspoilt views of the Wicklow Mountains and Blessington Lakes.
Russborough House and the Alfred Beit Foundation recently announce that after over 100 years some of the British and European Masters and furnishings have returned to Russborough. They may be viewed in the very rooms for which they were commissioned or purchased by the Earls of Milltown in the 18th & 19th centuries. Some of these works have not been seen by the public in many years. In 1902 Lady Geraldine Milltown donated them to the National Gallery of Ireland. Included are works by 17th and 18th century Italian, French, Irish and British artists including Claude-Joseph Vernet, Agostino Masucci, Marcantonio Bassetti, Anthony Lee and Joshua Reynolds.
Since its construction in the 1740s Russborough has been owned by three families. From 1740 until 1931 the seven generations of the Earls of Milltown lived at Russborough. From 1931- 1952 Colonel & Maeb Daly and their two children called Russborough their home. From 1952 until 2005 Sir Alfred & Lady Beit lived here and now The Alfred Beit Foundation operates the house and estate. Today, the Russborough ghost ‘lives on’ between Bedroom number 1 and Bedroom number 9!’
Lady’s Island is a beautiful part of the estate surrounded by a moat and with a red Japanese bridge required to cross it. The tallest and rarest trees on the estate are planted here including douglas fir, silver fir, scots pine and it now also hosts the fairy trail for young children to explore. Wonderful trees abound at Russborough, Irish oaks were planted by each of the last two Presidents of Ireland, President Mary McAleese during her visit of 2011 and President Michael D. Higgins during his visit of 2015.
An enormous amount of restoration was undertaken in the house this winter so now is the perfect time to visit this Palladian mansion.