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I recently spent some time in Rossmore park and Monaghan town. Monaghan is not generally on the tourist trail and does not feature highly on even Irish peoples lists of places to visit and it was my first time here.
I love forested regions and was therefore very happy in Rossmore park, a forested area of about 320 hectares (790 acres), located about three miles south of Monaghan town and bordering Rossmore golf course. It contains a mix of native broadleaf forestry(mostly oak and beech), planted coniferous forestry ( mostly Norwegian spruce, Sitka spruce) and planted exotic specimens, dating from the era of the great estate in the 19th century such as Giant Redwoods and Yew trees along with some feral invasive species, such as rhododendron and Himalayan Balsam.
The park originated as part of the estate of Robert Cunningham who was granted the barony of Monaghan in 1796 and passed to his nephew Warner William Westerna who built an impressive castle on the grounds in 1827 which was further improved on in the 1850’s but eventually fell into neglect and disrepair in the 20th century and had to be demolished in the 1950’s due to dry rot. The foundations of the castle are still to be seen in the park. There are nice views of the surrounding countryside here and it is nice to use your imagination and envision what the castle must have been like in such gorgeous surrounds.
The grounds contain many other remnants of the estate such as an impressive yew walkway, some artificial lakes which can be fished in as well as an overgrown chapel, a mausoleum and even a pet cemetery !
In more recent times, a beautiful, impressive playground has been installed as well as some playful installations of Roddy den Drum !
Rossmore park contains some nice remnants of a bygone era and some nice imaginative installations and is a great place to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.
Alan is a travel director with Trafalgar tours based in Ireland.
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