Kilfane Glen and Waterfalls, County Kilkenny
Kilfane Glen and Waterfall is a rare beauty. Located 3.2km (3mi) north of Thomastown in Kilkenny it is a perfectly preserved example of a romantic era garden dating from the 1790’s. Within the confines of this excellently restored mini paradise are tiny bridges, ancient tress, wild foxgloves, ferns and many other examples of foliage, which are historically correct to the 18th Century.
Located within the demesne of Kilfane House, the glen was developed by an especially cultured and sensitive landowner and his wife, Sir John and Lady Power. Sir John’s twin brother Sir Richard also aided in the development of the garden. The family were considered with high regard in respect to their intellect in southeast Ireland at the time, with many other accomplishments under their belts, including the foundation of the Kilkenny Theatre.
Influenced by Rousseau and the Romantic movement, a trend had started to emerge towards the latter end of the 18th Century , which revolved around the improvement of parks, demesnes and gardens in a new style. This type of landscaping was much more expressionistic and rugged, incorporating the use of water (cascades and waterfalls) to most dramatic effect, withdrawn places (ravines and valleys) and the inclusion of caves and grottoes
Unfortunately, after the death of its creators the glen was abandoned for a time and therefore much of their delicate work was undone. However today this fantastic asset has been fully restored and is well worth a visit. The location is a must see for artists , is listed as an Irish Heritage Garden and in 1993 was awarded assistance by the European Union Cultural Commission.
The park is open to the public daily from 11am to 6pm from July 1st to august 31st with admission of €7 (reductions for students, OAPs and families). The glen has location, group booking and catering facilities available. It is also available for wedding photography during its opening months at special rates, as long as advance notice is given.
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