We were very fortunate to be given a private tour, by the family, when we visited in September.
The House has been in the Villiers-Stuart family and their descendants for 21 generations.
Dromana is situated high above the Blackwater River in County Waterford, Ireland.
The House was originally a medieval castle built by the powerful FitzGerald family. By the end of the 17th Century, Dromana House was destroyed after a number of sieges but it was rebuilt. Between the 1750s and 1820s many additions were made to the house including a “great bow-sided ballroom.” There were also two large walled gardens on the estate.
During the 1820s the Dromana estate was in ownership of 30,000 acres. Today there is 30 acres of gardens and approximately 600 acres of forest land.
The avenue, which stretches up to 4 kilometres, is now publicly owned with the Hindu Gothic styled gate lodge over the River Finisk leading to Dromana House
Our guide, the mother of current owner Barbara Grubb passionately told us the history of all 21 generations. This she told through portraits and family photographs. One, the Countess of Desmond who apparently lived until she was 140 years old.
As we prepared to take or leave I questioned a sketch of Daniel O"Connell in the hallway. Beneath the sketch was this desk upon which was drafted the "Catholic Emancipation Act"
|Upon this desk was drafted "The Catholic Emancipation Act"|
Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847); often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He campaigned for Caholic Emancipation —the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament denied for over 100 years.
|View from Dromana Castle facing north toward the Vee|
|The Blackwater River by Dromana House, Helen Tilston|