20 September 2011

Nenaghgal Visits the L' Orangerie at Fota House

My parents were visiting from the States recently and when we were heading back from Kinsale to Nenagh we decided to visit Fota House as it was a particularly miserable day at the start. But by the time we had toured Fota House- the skies finally cleared and we were able to have a good walk through the gardens before getting back in the car.
As Fota House and the lands are all situated on Fota Island, it creates the perfect shelter and warms the soil. In fact, Fota is derived from the Irish " Fod Te" - meaning warm soil. The island provides and ideal setting for growing and cultivating exotic plants and trees which is something the Smith-Barry Family recognized early on enabling them to develop the arboretum and gardens.
The arboretum and gardens were begun back in the 1840's and while we did no have time to walk through the arboretum, we did get through the gardens .
I particularly liked the l'orangerie and while there are not a lot of plants in it- the structure itself lent itself well to some beautiful images.
The glass roof was beautiful against the blue sky.

And I loved this play of pattern that the shadows and water created.

Unfortunately, the website does not mention the l'orangerie so I am not sure when this was built but I'll do some sleuthing and try to find out more. I guess I just wanted to do a simple post focusing on the images today.


  1. How gorgeous! I visited Fota island as a child (school tour) and have great memories of it. This makes me want to take the kids. Beautiful photos!

  2. Dear Lisa.

    We're delighted to hear you enjoyed your visit to Fota. Unfortunately, we don't have any of the original plans for Fota House or the outbuildings so we cannot be exactly sure what year the Orangerie was built. They were very popular in the mid-1800's and David O'Regan (OPW Head Gardener at Fota)reckons it dates from 1840-1860. It may well have been constructed when the house was being extended and revamped.

    He pointed out that the view of the Orangerie from the stairwell in the house was designed to bring the garden into the house and the Orangerie brought the house into the gardens. A popular idea at the time.

    We do hope you can visit in a different season as there is always something see and the colours of the flowers and leaves constantly change. You can keep up to date with what's happening on our Facebook page 'Fota House & Gardens'.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Kind regards,

    Evelyn Byrne
    Irish Heritage Trust

  3. Evelyn- Thank you so much for leaving this comment! How helpful. I have fabulous photos of the house too- could you email me your direct email to stylistmcgee@gmail.com- I'd love to know who to contact for questions!

    Mona- thanks so much. So great when people respond to my post! Much appreciated.