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The name Lansdowne seems to follow me around. Many years ago I used to commute daily past the Lansdowne Monument on Cherhill Down in Wiltshire (built in 1845 by the Third Marquis of Lansdowne to commemorate his ancestor, Sir William Petty), and then for many years I used to regularly find myself going round the Lansdowne roundabout in Bournemouth.

However, it came as something of a surprise to discover that the house and gardens at Derreen, in the far west of Ireland, were built by the Fifth Marquis as the summer home (on lands he had inherited from Sir William Petty), and that his descendants still live there.

It was in 1870 that the Fifth Marquis began transforming acres of bare rock and scrub into the luxuriant woodland garden we see today. In it he planted specimens of the many plants he brought back with him from his time as Viceroy of India and Governor of Canada, along with a large number of tree ferns (Dicksonia antarctica) from Tasmania and South East Australia.

For opening hours, admission prices, ect. please see the official site listed below. Only the gardens are open; there is no access to the house.

Tea, coffee, lunches and home-made cakes are available from the cottage near the car park.

Teddy O Sullivan's bar at Kilmakillogue Quay does pub lunches, including some might fine fresh salmon sandwiches and a decent pint of Murphys.