History of the Garden
Situated between the Wicklow Mountains to the east, and the Slieve Bloom to the west, Baile An Tobair - ‘Town of the Wells’ is located in a beautiful tillage valley, sitting on a bed of Limestone Rock & giving us wonderful alkaline free draining soil.
Wells abound through the porous limestone and most likely the reason for the siting of the original church here.
It is documented that pilgrimages were made to Ballintubbert to take the healing water.
The gardens are arranged almost symmetrically around the centerpiece; a Georgian manor house. The relationship between the house & the garden has been a key element to the design, each bowing to the other.
Poet laureate Cecil Day–Lewis was born in this house in 1904. His return in the 1930s as a young poet to find the spirit of his mother & his Anglo–Irish origins, gave rise to some beautiful poetry & visitors can find Day-Lewis’ and other significant poet’s work throughout the gardens.
As well as using the Force, Darth Vader actor Sebastian Shaw lived at Ballintubbert & was a keen & practicing herbalist. We shall remember him through reinstating his prized herb garden.
Local fruit-farmers; the Little’s who farmed at Ballintubbert in the 70s & 80s have left us the bountiful Little Orchard that today yields our organic apple juice.
The work of restoring the original gardens was initiated by actor Sir John Hurt who lived here with his young family in the 1990s. During this period notable Irish garden designer Arthur Shackleton contributed significantly to the horticultural complexity.
In 1999, visionaries Fergus & Orna Hoban took on Ballintubbert to make a great Irish garden open to the public. With the help of highly accomplished & equally affable horticultural genius Andrew Farrelly; the Hoban’s significantly re-created the gardens to include the Canal, the Lutyens Garden, the Rose Garden, the Robinson Meadows and the Beech Wood.
Today horticultural enthusiasts & event specialists LPM Bohemia are the new custodians. Their vision is to celebrate this magnificent horticultural feat & to explore & share it’s abundant medicinal & culinary resource.