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Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Gardens

Castlewellan Forest Park, Castlewellan, County Down, BT31 9BU
View of the Annesley Walk in Castlewellan Forest Park

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The Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Gardens is situated north of the foothills of the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland. 

PUBLIC NOTICE: Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is undertaking restoration works in the Annesley Gardens in Castlewellan Forest Park as part of ‘Re-Rooting our past in the Future: Castlewellan Historic Demesne’, project part funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.  The works will revitalise and conserve the natural heritage of the gardens for present and future generations. Please note that the Walled Garden will be closed until the end of September 2024 to facilitate restoration works to the paths and fountains. We apologise for any disappointment this causes.

The Annesley family bought the Manor of Castlewellan in 1741 and over generations improved the lands and developed the Town. This included planting tousands of trees, developing a unique Arboretum within and beyond the walled garden. In 1967, Gerald Annesley sold the demesne to the Ministry of Agriculture. Two years later the Forest Park was opeed to the public by te Governor of Northern Ireland, Lord Grey of Naunton.

Since then the Arboretum, which had originally measured some 10 hectares, was extended to 45 hectares. Due to careful sourcing and selection of new plants that added to the many existing specimens, it now contains an internationally important collection of trees and shrus, with many beautiful and rare species. The walled garden is now known as the Annesley Garden in tribute to the former owners.


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* Annesley Gardens are currently closed (from 8 February 2024) due to essential maintenance work.

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