Adjacent to Strokestown Park House sits a woodland first planted in the early 1700's by Thomas Mahon. Arthur Youngs " A Tour of Ireland"(1780) included a large entrance on the Strokestown Estate Young commented on the General efficiency and good order of Thomas Mahons Estate and was struck by "the beauty of its woodlands". During the 1800's an under planting of Prunus laurocerasus (Common Laurel) was planted, this was ideal cover for game birds and added greatly to the excitement of the shoot. As time passed and woodland maintenance slowed the laurel began to spread eventually encroaching on the once manicured pathways. For many years this woodland remained practically untouched, letting nature take its course. In 2011 a sensitive restoration took place reopening the original pathways, while at all times making sure not to interfere with the overhead canopy, the woodlands have been reopened to the public. Some of the original mature specimens of Quercus robur (Oak) and Fagus sylvatica (Beech) remain to be seen. Other tree species to look out for are Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore), Ilex aquifolium (Holly), Coylus avellana (Hazel) and many more. As the woodland is now accessible planting can now continue in order to keep this stunning natural asset alive for all to enjoy. Admission to the Woodland Walk is free .
The Strokestown Park Schools Sculpture Competition:
This is a very exciting event that takes place throughout the Summer in Strokestown Park, schools from all over County Roscommon have been invited to take part, by creating a piece of sculpture that reflects or is inspired by Strokestown Park. Be it the architecture or collections within the House, or the tragic story of The Irish National Famine Museum or the tranquillity of the walled Gardens & Estate that is up to the Students. Each piece of sculpture will be placed along the Woodland walk. All visitors to the woodlands can vote for their favourite piece, with kind sponsorship from Investec Bank the winning school will receive €3500.
All will be in place for June and Voting closes in September. Please visit and support this great Artistic initiative.