Johnstown Castle, Estate, Museum and Gardens, near Wexford Town, comprise of a neo-gothic castle, now open for pre booked guided tours and lush ornamental gardens that adorn the castle estate, a popular destination for walks and picnics.
The grounds of Johnstown Castle feature a wide variety of trees and shrubs, representing the best aspects of a formal and wild garden. The former castle farmyard houses the popular Irish Agricultural Museum, a celebration of Irish rural life.
Johnstown Castle estate was the historic home of two prominent Wexford families. The first owners were the Esmondes—a Norman family who settled in the county in the 12th century. During the Cromwellian era the estate was confiscated, changing hands several times before being acquired by John Grogan in 1692; his descendents would remain at Johnstown up until 1945.
By 1863, Johnstown Castle estate reached the peak of its development and featured a large demesne of over 1,000 acres. It was divided in two, with a deer park to the north and the castle, pleasure grounds, farm and two lakes to the south.
The spectacular ornamental grounds and gardens surrounding the 19th century castle were designed by Daniel Robertson, well known for designing Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow. The landscape is enhanced by two lakes with folly towers, populated with a range of waterfowl. Pleasant pathways meander through the pleasure grounds, attracting visitors to wander at will.
Frequent glimpses of the castle shimmering in the waters of the lake add to the atmosphere, as visitors take in the extensive walks in the tranquil, tree dotted gardens.