Kilmokea Country Manor and Garden

 …an interesting blend of history, nature and pure tranquillity

Kilmokea Manor and Gardens is a charming estate nestled in Campile, County Wexford, Ireland. The site of Kilmokea stretches back to the 7th Century when Monks set up an seminary and a place of education. Then came the Vikings and in 1169 the Normans came. Mark and Emmer Hewlett bought Kilmokea in 1997. The beautifully restored Manor house and gardens were opened to the public in 1998. In 2000, the coach house was developed and later additional amenities were added such as Tennis Court, Swimming Pool and Spa.

As you approach the gates of Kilmokea Manor, you’re greeted by a sense of anticipation and wonder. The elegant Georgian house stands as a testament to the grandeur of a bygone era, its stately facade hinting at the stories and secrets it holds within. Step through the doors, and you’ll find yourself transported back in time, surrounded by period furnishings, ornate decor, and an ambiance of refined elegance.

The highlight of Kilmokea Manor is undoubtedly its beautiful gardens and woodlands spanning across 7 acres. These gardens are a masterpiece of landscape design, blending formal elements with wild, natural beauty.

The Walled Garden is enclosed within ancient stone walls and is a sanctuary of tranquillity. Flowering plants, shrubs, flowering trees, neatly cut box hedges, some apple trees and a manicured lawn backed by the stone Victorian House. Even a couple of banana trees are doing well here. The peacock patrols the area and warns off intruders with its screaming call.

Skunk Cabbage. Kilmokea Manor and Gardens, Campile, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland.

Then there’s the Woodland Garden. It hosts a diverse array of plants, flowering shrubs and trees, aromatic herbs, exotic trees and bog plants. A gravel pathway twists and criss-crosses its way throughout the garden. There is a towering Dawn Redwood planted in 1971, a Canoe Cedar with its textured bark, planted in 1963. Around the pond there are fine examples of the Brazilian Giant Rhubarb planted in 1965. This just names a few. In the wetter and shaded areas along the stream there is the broad leafed Skunk Cabbage. When I was there this April this year, they were beginning to flower. The bright orange standing out against the large green leaves.

From the large pond located in the upper end of the garden, water runs through the woodland in a small stream adding gentle sounds of trickling water to the tranquillity of the woods. The soothing sounds of the Wood Pigeon cooing outplayed by the raucous call of the crows overhead breaks the thoughtful silence but which only adds further to the intimate experience you are having.

The garden reflects the influence of Eastern design principles of the Japanese Gardens offering a harmonious blend of water, stone, and carefully pruned plants. Visitors can experience a sense of mindfulness and contemplation in this peaceful space. Forrest Bathing is promoted in the garden, an area of expertise for Emma.

The Norman graveyard at Kilmokea Manor adds another layer of history and intrigue to this already fascinating estate.  The graveyard serves as a reminder of the passage of time and the enduring legacy of those who have gone before. There are a couple of “Pirate” graves with the headstone bearing the “Skull and Crossbones” symbol representing the Sea Pirates,

Kilmokea Manor and Gardens, Campile, New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland.

The woodlands and gardens are a haven for wildlife. There is never a guarantee of seeing these elusive and not so elusive creatures. But here are some to look out for.

Bats can be seen around the lake, usually at dusk, as they feed on flying insects such as mosquitoes, beetles, midges, flying ants, moths, and mayflies. The lake is home to ducks and Moorhens. There are a few nesting platforms around the lake so watch out in nesting and hatching times, May and June. Wood Pigeon, Crows, Pheasants as well as songbirds like Blackbirds, Blue Tit, Brambling, Gold Finch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock. There are Pygmy Shrews, pretty hard to spot, as is the Fox, Hedgehogs. They ae more active at night or early morning. But they’re all there!

When I visited in April this year, some of the flowering trees like the Magnolia and the Rhododendron had passed flowering, but the displays of all the new tree life, the different shades of green, made up for it. Other trees display red and yellow and look so special against the green backdrops. I sat for a while, soothed by the trickling sound of the stream and the Wood Pigeon cooing above as they chatted to one another not put off by my presence.

Japanese Fir

I spent a bit of time with Emma in the vegetable garden and she was showing me the process of “Electro Culture”.  Electro culture is a holistic approach to agriculture that involves the use of electrical currents or electromagnetic fields to enhance plant growth, improve soil fertility, and increase crop yields. This additional yield can be as high or even higher than 30%. Emma applies this process to her vegetables that she grows for their Organic Café.

After the woodland and garden experience, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the Café. You may also like to have a meal. There is an extensive menu to choose from of homemade choices and freshly prepared using organically grown seasonal vegetables produced from the Estate’s own garden.

You can never tire of this garden. I’ve been here many times before, always different, always something new to experience. Always refreshing.

Be inspired by nature, experience raw nature.

Kilmokea Country Manor and Gardens is a hidden gem in south County Wexford, offering a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and hospitality. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat, a romantic getaway, or simply a day of leisurely exploration, this enchanting estate promises a memorable experience amidst the idyllic Irish countryside.

Contact and relevant details info

Mark and Emma Hewlett
Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens

Y34TH58 - Campile, Newross Co Wexford
Phone: +353 (0)86 6641946

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