Two Stunning Midland Gardens Are Part Of The Lough Derg Garden Trail

Bellefield House and Gardens, Shinrone and Fancroft Mill and Gardens, Roscrea will be featured on Nationwide, RTE 1 on Wednesday July 13th at 7 p.m.  Both venues are members of the Lough Derg Garden Trail.  Extensive conservation and restoration programmes are in progress in each of these beautiful local properties.

In  Bellefield the 2 acre walled garden has been retrieved from wilderness under the direction of its owner, architect and gardener, Angela Jupe.  Clearance of the walled garden took over two years during which the old path layouts were uncovered, together with an old grapevine growing through an ash tree – this is now thriving in the salvaged glasshouse!  The garden had been so overgrown that initial access to it was on all fours!

Angela is passionate about using good perennial plants, and naturalizing bulbs with native and interesting exotic trees.  A number of the trees that had self-seeded over the years of neglect have been retained giving a sense of maturity.  Angela loves to design unusual garden buildings and in Bellefield she has incorporated a wonderful Indian-inspired summerhouse.  This again was constructed from salvaged items that had been acquired over the years.  There are old leaded windows which were retrieved from a convent and a copper copula bought in a salvage yard in England but thought to have originated in India.

Bellefield garden is open May to September on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from 10.30 am to 5 pm and by appointment on other days for groups. (Tel: 0505 47766).

At Fancroft, (Fionn Choradh)  the white weir, a  major conservation work schedule is nearing completion  on the  mill complex.  Guided by Marcus and Irene Sweeney, it has been in progress since 2007.  Locally known as Murray’s mill, this protected structure [OF 320] is looking marvellous once more. The refurbished  water wheel is turning again. A set of new millstones were installed in November 2010 and the fine stone work of the imposing façade, some dating from the  early 1800’s, is a pleasure to behold for all who pass by on the road.  Visitors are welcome to the Mill and Garden complex, with its Tea Rooms, which is open by appointment.

The gardens at Fancroft, created in the 1990’s by Angela Jupe  who had come to live at the mill house, are flourishing. The double border of Cat Mint, leading to the graceful glass house, was in glorious full bloom for the visit of the independent production company MPK who recorded the footage for Nationwide.

Visitors, by appointment, are welcome at Fancroft Mill and Gardens, with refreshments served in the Mill Tea rooms.  [Tel: 0505 31484 . e.mail :]

Both Bellefield and Fancroft are members of Ireland’s Hidden Places, a grouping of five, independent, privately owned properties who provide distinctive self catering accommodation in the locality .  In 2110 Angela Jupe along with the Sweeneys, Downers , Foremans and Alexanders formed this  collaborative grouping to promote their uniquely secluded yet accessible cottages and  lodges and coach houses (

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