I spent a lot of time in the open air for this week’s Thursday Doors and enjoyed every minute of it. Spring is here at last, daffodils are everywhere and the sun has cast its smile on a wet and soggy Ireland – we’ve had three days of beautiful sunshine over the past week. A trip to Fota House (near Cobh in county Cork) was long overdue and, although it’s closed to visitors until April, the gardens are open all year round. These images are of the back of the house, which seems a little unbalanced to me with a huge sash window over a tiny door.
The front is a bit more grand with its pillared entrance.
Situated at the center of an estate which covers all of the 780 acres on Fota Island, this former 18th century hunting lodge belonged to the Smith-Barry family, descendants of the de Barrys, who came from Wales in the 12th century as part of the Norman invasion of Ireland. In the 1820’s the house was extended to become the family’s main residence.
The last of the Smith-Barrys to live at Fota House was Dorothy Elizabeth Bell (1894-1975). She carried on recording and developing the plant collection that her family had started in the 1840’s. The estate was sold to University College Cork on her death in 1975 and in December 2007 the Irish Heritage Trust took over responsibility for Fota House.
Don’t be taken aback by the sparsity of plants and foliage around the house itself, as the gardens more than make up for that and over the coming weeks I’ll be posting more photos of the many trees and shrubs that grow there.
For a virtual tour, here’s a video courtesy of Fota House.
Thank you for stopping by this week’s Thursday Doors. Why not have a look at what Norm has posted and click the blue link on his blog for some fabulous doors from around the world.