Donegal Garden Society – Visit to Enniscoe House North Mayo

Fourteen members visited Enniscoe House on Wednesday 28 June 2014. It was a fine sunny day and the drive to North Mayo took about two hours on a meandering picturesque country road. After refreshments we wandered through the restored Victorian garden, 5 acres, essentially a dry stone garden featuring plants that favoured dry rocky conditions e.g. Cistus rock rose,Anthemis Penetata,Lilium cerneum, Eurphorbia Rigida, Cerastium Tormentosum(Snow in Summer),Pulsatilla Vulgaris. There was a wide lawn with herbaceous borders the planting was unexceptional. The pathway led to a restored stone arch planted up with hardy ferns.  In the organic fruit and vegetable garden was a comprehensive range of vegetables growing along with 3 polytunnels and alongside one wall raspberries, blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes proliferated.

Enniscoe House is a Georgian mansion, steeped in history, set in parkland and is surrounded by mature woodland  through which paths run to the shores of Lough Conn under Mt Nephin. The current owner Susan Kellett showed us around the house which dated back to 1790 there are many ancestral portraits and the stories behind some of these was most fascinating. The interior décor is well worn but still impressive with its ivories and beiges, swathed in period wallpapers and draperies, and set with enough gilt framed paintings and charming corners to please lovers of Victorian literature. The house was extended and improved throughout the preceding centuries, the spiral staircase  an impressive feature of the extended mansion  along with many quirky aspects in its many corridors leading to guest rooms.

We concluded our visit by walking around the extensive estate including pastures, shrubberies, woodlands and lakeside walks. There are marked paths through the wood to the shores of Lough Conn and the mausoleum dedicated to a former member of the family. The walk was 2.5km long through woodland and winds down to Lough Conn it takes about an hour and was easy walking and on a radiantly sunny day a perfect end to a day out in the magnificent scenery of North Mayo.