Hello there Beastie friends! Well, after a quick new Beastie pit stop last week, we’re back on the road with Paddy and Plunkett. Despite the very obvious appeal of sticking around in that cosy cottage at the Logan Fish Pond, the adventurous pair have moved on… And apparently hopped a couple of rungs up the property ladder at the same time!
“Greetings from Powerscourt House, everyone!”
Wow! Plunkett looks right at home here, doesn’t he? Has he officially moved in?
“No, just visiting… And enjoying the view!”
Powerscourt House is in County Wicklow, and it’s only about half an hour south of Dublin. You wouldn’t think it, would you? The house is set in spectacular and varied gardens, and has made Lonely Planet’s list of the Top Ten Houses and Mansions in the world.
And of course, the house has a bit of a tale to tell! It’s been here since Medieval times, and some of the stonework of the 13th century castle still forms part of the structure.
That said, what you see today is mostly the result of an 18th century facelift, commissioned by the 1st Viscount Powerscourt in 1730. The main work was completed in 1741, but the house continued to grow and change over the years. They added a whole extra storey in 1787, and there were more major refurbishments towards the end of the 19th century.
Then, in the 20th century, a fresh round of renovations were completed, in preparation for the house to throw its doors open to the public for the first time. But disaster struck, just as work finished in 1974… A fire started on the top floor, and reduced the house to a roofless shell.
And so it remained for twenty years, until they rebuilt the roof in 1996. Finally, Powerscourt House got its moment in the sun in 1997, when President Mary Robinson officially opened it to the public. It seems to have gone from strength to strength since then – what do you think?
So, while Plunkett has been enjoying the spectacle of the house, Triton Lake and the Italian Gardens, all set against the backdrop of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, where has Paddy gone? I thought he’d at least be trying to persuade one of those winged horses to take off and give him an aerial view of the grounds… Oh wait, there he is.
Wait a sec, WHERE is he? It looks like he’s in Japan! I thought these two always travelled together!
Ah, not quite. He’s gone to explore the famous Powerscourt Japanese Garden, which is packed full of pagodas, azaleas, Japanese maples and Chinese fortune palms.
So let’s follow the winding path across the wooden bridge…
… And wait by the stone lantern for Plunkett to catch up!
The Japanese Garden was created in 1908 by the 8th Viscount and Viscountess Powerscourt, making it one of the newer features of the grounds. But funnily enough, the boys stumbled on one of the oldest parts just around the corner – the grotto!
“Paddy, look at all this wonderful moss!”
Yes, Plunkett is a big fan of moss – it’s cool, soft and really brings out his lovely green complexion. Fortunately for him, you can’t go far in Ireland without finding some! And better yet…
“Paddy! It’s a Beastie-sized waterfall! I could stay and watch it all day…”
“No way, Plunkett! There’s still so much to see. Come on!”
Of course, we’ll have to wait until next week to finish up the tour… Be sure to join us then!