ONE of Cork’s historic country estates is set to open to the public after an extensive restoration project.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) announced the opening of Annes Grove House and Gardens in Castletownroche this week.
The 190-acre estate, owned by the Annesley family since the 1700s, was donated to the State by Patrick Grove Annesley in December 2015.
The grounds underwent extensive restoration works and can now be accessed by paid guided tour until September 22.
During the tours, visitors will be able to learn more about the history of the estate and gardens and the Grove Annesley family.
History and arts events will take place throughout the summer months and a coffee van and seating area can also be enjoyed at the estate.
“Richard Arthur Grove Annesley in the early twentieth century embarked on blending a new style of gardening at Anne’s Grove with exotic blooms, grown from seeds collected by the famous plant-hunter Frank Kingdon-Ward on his expeditions to Burma, Yunnan Province, Tibet and Bhutan,” the OPW said.
“Over the past five years, the OPW has sensitively restored the fragile environments of the walled and woodland gardens for visitors to enjoy, and the restoration of the third, the riverside garden, continues.
“With the opening of Annes Grove, the OPW adds a second picturesque destination in the foothills of the Galtees, only a short distance from Doneraile House and Demesne, giving visitors another incentive to visit the region.”
Mr Grove Annesley, who attended the gardens’ opening this week, said that he was delighted to see the estate reopened to the public.
“Annes Grove has a long tradition of welcoming visitors, and it was a great sadness for my family when we had no alternative but to close its gates in 2009,” Mr Grove Annesley said.
“I know that the OPW is now developing an exciting vision for the future of Annes Grove, so that the value of the property both to the local community and to visitors from further afield will continue to increase.”
Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, confirmed that plans to restore the estate’s buildings were also well underway.
“The OPW is on track to lodge a planning application in 2022 for the conservation of the main house, ancillary buildings in the farmyard, car and bus parking and staff facilities,” Mr O’Donovan said.