The Shackleton Gardens at Beech Park, Clonsilla, have been transferred into public ownership and Fingal County Council intends restoring the Gardens and opening them to the public as an important visitor attraction and tourism asset in Dublin 15. A €415,000 development plan has already been approved and will commence shortly.
The Gardens are widely regarded as being internationally significant due to their long association with horticultural excellence, in particular because of the wide range of rare and exotic plants recorded there over many years. During the 1980s, the Gardens were featured in numerous horticultural publications and were included in The Good Gardens Guide, obtaining two stars, the highest accolade awarded by the guide and reserved for the very best gardens in the British Isles.
The Gardens, which are inside a 1.5 acre walled garden, are home to an important collection of herbaceous perennials, grown in large herbaceous borders. This collection is particularly unique and important and was once the largest private collection in Ireland and ranked fourth in the British Isles. The history of the Shackleton Family, and their connection with the house and gardens, is also of significant public interest.
Fingal County Council’s Director of Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “It has been a long process to get The Shackleton Gardens transferred into public ownership and we are delighted that everything has been completed and we can get on with restoring the Gardens and delivering a major tourism asset for the Dublin 15 area.”
Kevin Halpenny, Senior Parks Superintendent with Fingal County Council said: “The importance of The Shackleton Gardens within the gardening world should not be underestimated and there is a tremendous opportunity here to develop a major attraction.”
The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Darragh Butler said: “The creation of a major tourist attraction in Dublin 15 will be a great boost to that part of Fingal and the development of The Shackleton Gardens will benefit greatly from the Council’s proven track record in developing heritage properties.”
Once restored, The Shackleton Gardens will form an important addition to the publically accessible heritage and tourism infrastructure of Fingal and the wider Dublin region. Fingal County Council are already responsible for attractions such as:
- Malahide Castle & Gardens
- Ardgillan Castle & Demesne, Balbriggan
- Skerries Mills Industrial Heritage Centre
- Newbridge House and Farm, Donabate
- Swords Castle