Birr Castle , Co. Offaly
The residential areas of the castle are not open to the public,though the grounds and gardens of the demesne are publicly accessible.
The gardens are a treat and well worth a visit they are home to an abundance of rare plants. Within the 50 hectares you will find the world’s tallest box hedges, over 40 champion trees, over 2000 species of plant as well as rivers, lake and waterfalls. It now has plant material collected and subscribed for by 3 generations of the family, as well as some of the most famous plant hunters, past and present. It was the first garden in Ireland to receive specimens of Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood) after its discovery in China in 1945.
However the centerpiece of all in this demesne is “The Great Telescope” and I quote from their PR blurb
In the early 1840’s, the Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world. With this telescope, he discovered the spiral nature of some of the galaxies, and from 1845-1914, anyone wishing to witness this phenomenon had to come to Birr. And they came, in their hundreds, from across Europe and beyond, to observe the stars with Lord Rosse or simply to marvel at this feat of engineering in the middle of Ireland.
This Reflecting telescope remained the largest in the world for over 70 years and is arguably the largest historic scientific instrument still working today. This ‘leviathan’ as it is named, remains in the centre of the Demesne as Ireland’s greatest scientific wonder and represents a masterpiece of human creative genius.
The Science centre demonstrates how the extraordinary telescope, now magnificently restored, was built in the castle workshops by the people of Birr. Scientific instruments are displayed, alongside interactive models to explain how they were used.
Above the telescope
In My opinion looks a bit gloomy
My daughter Jenny with her niece Isabelle
From Birr we journeyed to Kinnitty Castle for Lunch. Overall not to interesting
Enough for today more tomorrow