Belvedere House and Gardens, County Westmeath

Belvedere House and Gardens, County Westmeath

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Belvedere House Gardens and Park is a magnificent 160 acre Lakeside estate with fully restored Georgian Villa, Victorian Walled Garden, naturalistic designed 18th century parkland punctuated with Romantic follies including the largest in Ireland, the Jealous Wall. After a restoration project carried out by the estate owners, Westmeath County Council in conjunction with Failte Ireland and the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Fund , Belvedere in it’s current state opened in the year 2000 to the public.
 
Belvedere House was designed by the famous architect Richard Castles who designed the majority of the Palladian mansions in Ireland. Built for Robert Rochfort later Lord Belvedere in 1740 as a Georgian Villa, somewhere to escape the ordeal of Family life at their nearby main residence Gaulstown House. Belvedere became Robert's main Irish Residence after a family predicament where Robert's second wife was accused of an affair with his younger brother Arthur who lived at nearby Belfield House. The wife, Mary Molesworth spent 31 years under House arrest at Gaulstown until the earls death in 1774. This was a major scandal at the time and led to Robert being known as The Wicked Earl for his cruel treatment of his wife and subsequently his brother and his family. Arthur died destitute in a debtors prison and Robert dis possessed his nine nieces and nephews . A different but related argument with another brother George led to Robert erecting the Jealous Wall in 1760 to block his view of his brothers much larger house, Rochfort (now Tudenham) house.
 
No children were ever born at Belvedere during its history and ownership was passed from cousin to cousin, through Charles Brinsley Marlay in Victorian Times, to Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury in 1912 and finally to Rex Beaumont in 1963, Belvedere's last private owner.
Westmeath County Council bought the estate including Mullingar Golf Club in 1982 for 250,000 irish pounds.

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