The National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh (Irish: Garraithe Náisiúnta na Lus, Cill Mochura) is a garden and arboretum outside Wicklow Town, County Wicklow, Ireland. It is a satellite of the main National Botanic Gardens located in Glasnevin, County Dublin. The 52 acre gardens are situated 5 km from exit 18 on the M11 motorway. The gardens were founded in 1712 as part of the Acton family estate who owned the land until 1940. Today, the gardens are in State ownership through the Office of Public Works. They were acquired in 1976 by the Land commissioner and day-to-day management transferred to National Botanic Gardens in 1996.
The story of Kilmacurragh stretches back beyond the establishment of the gardens to early Christian times. A lake, part of which remains as a small pond, once existed as a fishing pond for a monastery that stood where the remains of the Acton family home stand today. This monastery was dissolved by Henry VII. Thomas Acton and his sister Jane Acton were behind establishment of the gardens, subscribing to plant hunting expeditions and utilising contacts in botanical gardens and nurseries around the globe to acquire exotic seeds for the gardens. The gardens were the showpiece of the rare Irish Queen Anne style house, the home of the Acton family. The Rhododendron walks were developed through a friendship with David Moore the curator of the National Botanic Garden’s at Glasnevin. This led to Kilmacurragh becoming the home to the national rhododendron collection. Wikipedia.
Kilmacurragh is open all year round, every day, except for Christmas Day. The grounds are free to enter and explore, and Actons Cafe offers coffee and lunches on site. https://botanicgardens.ie/kilmacurragh/. It is a superb amenity to the people of Wicklow and beyond.
The photos below are a selection taken in the gardens.