July 1, 2008

My visit to the gorgeous grounds of Castlemartin in Ireland

After Kevin toured the Wedgwood Potteries in England, he met me in Dublin, Ireland.  We then drove to County Kildare, where we were the invited houseguests of Sir Tony O’Reilly and his lovely wife, Lady Chryss Goulandris, at their magnificent estate, Castlemartin.  Sir Tony is the Chairman of Waterford Wedgwood.  That evening we were treated to a delicious dinner of spring lamb chops with fresh garden peas.  Dessert was my favorite sour lemon meringue tart.  Other guests included the former Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney and his wife, Mila.  The next morning, we arose quite early and walked the grounds.  Once again, I was awed and inspired.  See for yourself!    


The linden allee in the front of Castlemartin - this is the country home of Sir Anthony O'Reilly and his beautiful wife, Lady Chryss Goulandris.

The facade of the 18th century Georgian stone house - which was completely restored and refurbished.  It was, according to the owners, a pile of rubble when purchased in the 1970's.

The teal blue door is the same accent color used everywhere on the farm estate.

the side facade of the house

Roses were blooming everywhere on the property and they were extremely fragrant and lush.

The stone walls on the property are as amazing as the size of the giant trees - only an 'old' place has such features.

A giant monkey puzzle tree - one of the truly 'prehistoric' plants on the property - not from prehistory itself, but this type of tree dates way way back.

Looking through a window opening in a stone wall affords a fantastic view of the fields beyond.

Kevin loved the massive stone ball garden ornaments - they were everywhere!

There is a catholic church, rebuilt on the property.

the Church of St. Mary's

A great detail for around a building - I often lay down the gravel, but I've never added the stone edging.

The cattle raised on the place are primarily Charolais, a French breed raised for their tender beef.

Roses grow to immense heights in Ireland - this pink 'new dawn' type covered the front of the guest house.

We just loved how the two massive trees were growing together over the drive.

This  lone bull is prized for his reproductive qualities.

This Icelandic pony is often ridden by our hostess.

Two adorable pure Irish donkeys, were friendly but wary of strangers.

some of the many Charolais

There is running water throughout the property.

This is one of the myriad giant trees - oaks, maples, lindens, beeches, horse chestnuts, yews, atlas cedars...

The hedgerows are made from prickly shrubs, hornbeams, beech, and privets - they are not left to grow wild, but are edged and clipped and are impenetrable.

This foal is known as an orphan - he was taken away at birth from his mother and bottle fed while his mother's milk was used for a sickly foal, who could not survive without a 'mother.'  The Icelandic pony, in a previous photo, is the surrogate mother for this lively foal.

The fields are a bright green (we're in Ireland, after all) and the grass is rich food for all the animals.

These are very healthy cattle.

Kevin is like the Pied Piper - every animal migrates to him.

The Pied Piper makes another friend - a giant St. Bernard, who was extremely playful and puppy-like for his size.

In the early morning, everything just sparkled!

You can see how the trees are very trimmed underneath - eaten evenly by the horses and cattle!

very pretty

These cows are not looking at me - they are playing 'stare down' with the dogs on the other side of the fence.

a beautiful portrait of a prize cow

There is great appeal to the Irish countryside.

Kevin and the St. Bernard – Daisy

Are we seeing double?

Belted Galloways, Charolais, and others live a beautiful life on the green fields of Castlemartin.