Kilmokea House & Gardens, seven acres of manicured walled area and lush tropical, jungle like woodland, a peaceful experience with a magical touch for all the family.

Kilmokea, a manor house and garden with Viking and Norman Heritage located near the Barrow River on the island of “Great Island” near Campile in County Wexford, Ireland. The gardens are overlooked by the impressive Rectory. built of sturdy stone in 1794 by The Reverend Cubit the Rector of White church. It displays typical Georgian architecture with understated elegance, yet quite a not-so-humble home for the local rector.

Kilmokea Country Manor and Gardens, Great Island, Campile, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland. &copy: John Ironside

The planting of the Heritage Garden began in 1947 and is now matured into a lush woodland garden covering seven acres and filled with plant and tree discoveries, imprinted with colour and scheming.

The huge mature trees are home to a large number of grows and ravens. Their raspy calls, “caw” and kraa” welcome you to the gardens and perhaps echoes the magic and power of the site and its long standing historical background.

On arriving, I met with the Head Gardner: Ciarán Fitzgerald. A young man with great enthusiasm and a desire to illustrate to others the value and beauty of a garden, and nature itself, as an aspect of all life. He walked me through the garden beginning with the vegetable “Potager” garden. It was early in the year, May, so most of the planting was taking place, but it was easy to visualize how lush this space would be when the produce come to the fore. This garden supplies the Manor House with herbs, fresh vegetables and leaves for the kitchen, small fruits and flowers.

We wandered from the walled garden into the woodland garden, crossing the quiet public road, towards the lake. The bamboo walk, large leafed plants, spots of colour provided by the azaleas and rhododendrons and hundreds of shades of green provided by new life, sprouting from every tree and shrub, emerging for the summer.

Throughout the garden walks there are a variety of surprises for the kids to indulge in; the fairy garden, the Viking settlement, pirate ship, wishing well. Nature is for everyone and the birds and insects will keep you relaxed and amused as you rest on the strategically placed benches along the walkways. Ciarán does a walking tour through the gardens about once a month and is worth doing this if just to feel a bit of his enthusiasm for this garden and his love of nature.

An interesting cemetery lies near the road crossing and dates back to 8th Century when it was part of the Monastic settlement. Artifacts of particular interest are the smallest High Cross in Ireland stands at 56cm high. The two “bullaun” stones, dating back to the Bronze Age consisting of large rectangular blocks of weathered limestone with a deep bowl-shaped depression hollowed out of its upper side. And unusual head stone with a skull and cross bones carved on it. On the back it has an inscription and the year 1739. There is a history of pirates attacking vessels on the River Barrow in this area.

Smalest High Cross in Ireland at Kilmokea Country Manor and Gardens

Mark and Emma Hewlett
Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens
Great Island, Campile, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland Y34 TH58
Tel: 051 388109
Sat Nav: 52.29599  -6.99274

While in this area, a visit to the John F Kennedy Arboretum is worth a visit. Its about a ten minute drive away. The park consists of 622 acres including 4,500 types of trees and shrubs, 200 forest plots, rhododendrons and dwarf conifers.