Thursday Doors


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.


About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in Historical buildings, History, Ireland, nature, photo challenges, photography, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Thursday Doors

  1. Norm 2.0 says:

    Seems like a wonderful place to visit. So glad we could help you get a little more fresh air 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim says:

    you are so lucky to have Spring like weather. we still have lots of grey and cold and ice and icky bad weather for now. loved your pics tho.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jim. We’ve had a very mild winter so far but if a long spell of ice cold weather hits us all those poor budding plants will be frozen to death. Today has been the coldest day yet. Hope spring arrives there for you soon.


  3. jesh stg says:

    Love the pillars around the door (practical too since you have a lot of rain)! I’ve finally caught on that you don’t live in the USA but in Ireland – haha, better late than never. Am originally from Holland, but have lived for 3 decades now in the USA (because now I have grand children here).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see why you want to be near your family. Our grandchildren live about a seven hour drive away from us and I wish I could see them more often. Next year, we hope to move further north to be nearer them, so we’ve bought an old house to renovate which is only about an hour and a half’s drive from our grandchildren.


  4. Dan Antion says:

    The colors of spring look so wonderful. It’s amazing to learn about this and to think that this beautiful estate made it into the safety of an organization that will maintain it for people to appreciate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. pommepal says:

    Such a sturdy looking house and the doors do look tiny in comparison.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Simply beautiful and spring, oh spring, how I wish spring was here as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. joanfrankham says:

    Hope you get to enjoy the cafe and the house the next time you visit, I agree the gardens are lovely at any time, and the walk through the woods.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mysm2000 says:

    You see, you say “Spring finally” whip I say, “Sping already?” I am soooo jealous! We got another dump of snow this week and we weren’t finished carting away the metre and a half we got the week before! Great photos, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Looks just like our house, Jean. (Cough, cough, choke.) Quite the place, isn’t it. Looks like the sort of place that costs a fortune to maintain and heat. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  10. We often complain when we get no snow at all but when you say ‘a meter and a half’ I’m thankful we don’t. Hope you thaw out soon.


  11. Can just picture it back in its heyday Jean, must have been glorious – so glad the gardens are still maintained and will look forward to following the changing seasons there with you – glad to hear you’re having some spring weather and some fresh air! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. klara says:

    glad to hear that you had some nice, sunny days and enjoyed them thoroughly. interesting place indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ali Isaac says:

    Oooh it’s a very grand house, isn’t it? But quite austere. I bet the inside is really lavish, by contrast.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. lorigreer says:

    What a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful pictures, Jean. Daffodils were up around my place last week and, sure enough as has happened every year, Mother Nature dusts them in either frost, ice, or snow. Come on Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

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