Glenveagh Castle Gardens - overview by Sean O Gaoithin

Posted: 4/9/2020

Now available in the RESEARCH area of the NIHGT web pages:
A concise history of the development of the Garden at Glenveagh Castle is presented here. There have been three significant periods of development of the Garden, the first - during the ownership of Mrs Adair from 1885-1921, the second - that of Henry McIlhenny from 1937- 1983 and the third - most recently under State ownership from 1983 to the present.

Ownership of the Glenveagh estate has passed through six private owners - John George Adair 1857-85, his wife Cornelia (Mrs Adair) was widowed from 1885 and sole owner of the Glenveagh Estate until 1921. The estate was held in trust for Mrs Adair’s son Montgomery Ritchie from her previous marriage, until Glenveagh was sold to Arthur Kingsley Porter in 1929. In July 1933 A.K. Porter went missing presumed drowned off Inishbofin in North Donegal. His widow Lucy (Mrs Porter) maintained Glenveagh until 1937 when she sold the Estate to Henry P McIlhenny of Philadelphia. McIlhenny set about conserving and enhancing the Castle interior and renovating the gardens from 1947. McIlhenny donated the Castle and Gardens to the Irish Nation in 1983, having sold the lands of the Park to the Irish Government for the purpose of establishing a National Park in 1975. The Park which includes the Castle and Gardens are managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The three significant periods of development in the Gardens are outlined below.

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