Great Country Houses & Gardens of Northern Ireland
April 29-May 6, 2018
The ICAA is pleased to partner with Classical Excursions to present this exclusive tour of the great country houses and gardens of Northern Ireland. This exclusive tour will be led by Lani Summerville and Mark Donnelly, a noted expert on Irish decorative arts and antiques, and features a stay at the privately owned Ballywalter Park, an Italianate Palazzo built in 1846 and now the family home of Lord Dunleath, along with a stay at the privately-owned Belle Isle Castle, home of Lord Nicholas Hamilton.
This tour is arranged by Classical Excursions. Please note that a registration form and deposit must be submitted to Classical Excursions and a confirmation of receipt must be received from Classical Excursions in order to be considered registered for this program. Payment of the $500 donation to the ICAA prior to registration does not guarantee placement on the trip. To inquire about registration for this program, please contact [email protected] or 413-243-4155.
Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. All travel program participants receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA.
Image: Mount Stewart, Flickr/Amanda Slater
Participants will enjoy a private tour and lunch at Seaforde House and gardens hosted by the owner Lady Anthea Forde, elder sister to the present Earl of Belmore, who was raised at Castle Coole. The house, which is typically not open to the public, was redesigned in the early 19th Century and contains magnificent Greek-revival interiors. The renowned gardens contain rare plants and trees from around the world, as well as a maze.
The tour will include a visit to Mount Stewart, Newtownards, in County Down, which was originally built in 1804 by architect George Dance and later extended. Mt. Stewart’s gardens cover 80 acres and are considered the most complete in Ireland, thriving in the area’s subtropical microclimate. Overlooking Strangford Lough is the exquisite small banqueting pavilion inspired by the Temple of the Winds in Athens. The visit includes cocktails with Lady Rose Lauritzen in her private apartments at Mount Stewart, with a private tour of her personal gardens.
Participants will tour Florence Court, Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh, an important Irish Georgian mansion. Florence Court features flanking arcaded wings with end pavilions constructed in the 1760s, as well as lavish Rococo plaster decoration and 18th century Irish furniture.
Participants will visit Castle Coole, Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh, which is considered the finest neoclassical country house in Ireland. The Castle features Portland stone masonry, and still retains its original Regency furniture. The tour is hosted by Lord Belmore who will show participants the original architectural drawings of James Wyatt, who designed the Castle, from his personal collection.
The trip includes a three night stay at the privately owned Ballywalter Park, hosted by Lord Dunleath. Built in 1846 for Andrew Mullholland and designed by the prominent Belfast architect, Sir Charles Lanyon, the house is the best-preserved example of the Italianate palazzo style in Ireland.
Participants will enjoy a private visit and tea at Baronscourt, hosted by His Grace, Duke of Abercorn. The house was started in 1779 by the architect George Steuart, redesigned later on by architects John Soane and Richard and William Morrison. The interiors feature a classical rotunda encircled by a ring of Ionic columns, as well as a typical Morrisonian library redecorated by the prominent English decorator, David Hicks.
Belle Isle Castle
The trip includes a three-night stay at Belle Isle Castle, built in the 16th Century and currently owned by the Duke of Abercorn for his son Lord Nicholas Hamilton to reside in.
Participants will experience a private tour of and luncheon at Grey Abbey and gardens, the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Montgomery. The Georgian house was built in 1762 and has continuously been occupied by the Montgomery family.
Participants will enjoy a lunch and tour of the privately owned Killyreagh House and gardens with the owners Lord and Lady Anthony Hamilton, brother to the Duke of Abercorn.
Participants will tour the privately owned 18th Century Finnebrogue House, which has been meticulously restored by the owner Noel Lamb.
- Private visits to great houses and gardens in Northern Ireland, with several tours hosted by owners.
- Three-night stays at Ballywalter Park and Belle Isle Castle.