Russborough was built in 1741 by Joseph Leeson , the first Earl of Milltown, a brewer who was also a Member of Parliament. He chose the German architect Richard Cassells to design his new home. Russborough is not only regarded as one of Ireland’s most beautiful houses but it also has a spectacular setting with magnificent views of the Blessington lakes and the Wicklow mountains beyond.
Sir Alfred and Lady Beit bought Russborough in 1952 having seen an advertisement for it in Country Life magazine. In 1976 Sir Alfred established the Alfred Beit Foundation, a registered charity, and opened the house to the public for guided tours. The house which is beautifully maintained and lavishly furnished contains fine furniture, tapestries, carpets, porcelain and silver and part of the Beit collection of paintings. It has magnificent ceilings, plasterwork and a fabulous mahogany staircase.
A parkland walk, with magnificent views of the house, has recently been opened to the public which takes up to one hour and is popular with both adults and children. A 2,000 square metre Beech Hedge Maze is also very popular with children who need to find their way to the statue of Cupid on a central pillar in the middle of the Maze. There is also a 200 year old ‘Hippodrome’ building used for training horses in past centuries which is interesting to visit.
A cafe and shop are also available for light lunches and souvenirs. See http://www.russborough.ie/ for information on concerts, candlelight evenings, outdoor theatre, farmers markets etc. Click play below to view RTE's Nationwide programme highlighting the beauty and history of Russborough House.
For more info logon to: http://www.visitwicklow.ie/attractions/russborough_house.htm