Altamont House

In County Carlow, we have many stunning Historic Houses. So, there are Altamont House, Ballydarton House, Ballykealey House, Borris House, Castletown House, Clogrennane House, Duckett’s Grove, Dunleckney Manor, Lisnavagh House, Mount Leinster Lodge, Oak Park House, and more.

Altamont House is a historic house best known for its ornamental gardens in County Carlow.

Moreover, Altamont Gardens are Robinsonian-style gardens often called “the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown”.

However, the early origins of the house are unclear. Some claim that the building was first built as a convent, perhaps dating as far back as the 16th century. The central section of the house dates from the 18th century. The sections that face the east remain unchanged and were built by the St George family. Most of these changes to the house were to reverse it to face a newly built road. During the 1780s, Benjamin Burton Doyle the High Sheriff of Carlow lived at the house. In the 1840s the Dawson Borrer family refurbished and altered the house and gardens. They added the lake that was dug as relief work for the local population during the Irish famine.

Therefore, Feilding Lecky Watson bought Altamont in 1923 and proceeded to extend and expand the gardens. Watson’s interest was primarily in rhododendrons, planting seedlings from around the world. And exchanging specimens with Sir Frederick Moore of the National Botanic Gardens. Following Watson’s death in 1943, his daughter, Corona North continued her father’s horticultural work.

What`s more, in the early 1990s, a trust was set up to preserve the estate of 100 acres. And then, following the death of Corona North, ownership of the house and gardens was transferred to the Irish State. Today operated by the Office of Public Works.

Currently, OPW slowly restores Altamont House. So, I hope it will open someday.

Location of Altamont House:

Below are photos I took in June 2021.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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