If you are looking for a peaceful and picturesque place to visit in Galway, you might want to check out the Woodville Gardens. Located in Kilchreest, near Loughrea, Woodville Gardens is a historic walled garden that dates back to the 18th century. It was once part of the Woodville estate, owned by the Persse family. The Persse family had a close connection to Lady Augusta Gregory, the famous Irish writer and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. Lady Gregory was born at Roxborough House, another Persse property, and later married Sir William Gregory of Coole Park. She often visited Woodville and wrote about it in her journals and letters.

Woodville Gardens was restored in 2009 by Marie and Noel O’Shaughnessy, who leased the garden from the current owners, the O’Grady family. They have transformed the garden into a beautiful oasis of colour and fragrance, with herbaceous borders, fruit trees, roses, vegetables and a water fountain. The garden also features a rare dovecote, one of the few remaining in the west of Ireland. The dovecote was used to house pigeons, which provided meat and eggs for the estate.

The garden is open to the public from Friday to Sunday, from 11 am to 4 pm. Guided tours are available at 12 noon and 2 pm for €10 per person. The tours include a visit to the museum in the stables building, where you can learn more about the history of Woodville and its connection to Lady Gregory. You can also see photos, letters and books belonging to the Persse family, some of them signed by Lady Gregory herself.

Woodville Gardens is a perfect place to enjoy nature and history in Galway. You can stroll around the garden, admire the flowers and plants, listen to the birdsong and relax by the fountain. You can also explore the museum and discover the fascinating stories of Woodville and its former residents. Woodville Gardens is a hidden gem that you don’t want to miss.


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Woodville Gardens



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