Strokestown Park comprises of Strokestown Park House, The Irish National Famine Museum, the walled gardens and a woodland walk.
Strokestown Park House
Strokestown Park House, a Georgian Palladian mansion was built by Thomas Mahon on land which had been given to his grandfather Nicholas in the second part of the 17th century for his support in the British Colonial campaign. The Mahon family lived here until 1979, they decided to sell it as it had fallen into a state of disrepair. It was brought by a local company, Westward Garage who needed land to expand their business. Their initial intention was to keep a few acres of land they needed and to sell on the rest. When they found out the historical importance of Strokestown Park they decided to keep it. They negotiated a deal with the Mahon family for them to leave all the original furnishings in the house. The house was opened to the public in 1987 after a massive restoration project. Guided tours are available for the public rooms of the house.
The Walled Gardens and Woodland
The six acre walled gardens have been fully restored to their original splendour and give an insight of horticultural design and architecture from the 1740’s to the present day. The garden includes features such as the herbaceous border, the lily pond, the Victorian rose garden, peach house, vinery, fruit and vegetable garden and herb garden. The woodland was first planted in the early 1700’s by Thomas Mahon. During the 1800’s an under planting of Prunus laurocerasus (common laurel) was planted. The maintenance of the woodland declined and the laurel spread covering all the pathways. In 2011 the woodland was restored and they are now open to the public. Admission to the woodland walk is free.
The National Famine Museum
The National Famine Museum is twinned with the Irish Memorial National historic site in Grosse Ile, Quebec, Canada. Over 5,500 Irish people who emigrated during the famine years are buried in mass graves at Gross Ile. The Great Irish Famine of the 1840’s is now regarded as the single greatest social disaster of 19th century Europe. The National Famine Museum commemorates the history of the Great Famine and hopes to raise awareness of the ongoing famine in the developing world.