Avondale House - Rathdrum
Avondale House and Forest Park is located in Rathdrum, County Wicklow. It is the birthplace of Charles Stewart Parnell one of the finest political leaders in Irish history, he was born here in 1846. The house is nestled amongst over five hundred acres of glorious forest park.
This gorgeous Georgian House was designed by James Wyatt and constructed in 1977. Characteristics of this fine house, include intricate plasterwork as well as many original pieces of furniture. It represents the design and decor that was prevalent at this time. It gives a real glimpse into this bygone period of wealth and prosperity that was only available to the privileged. Visitors are acquainted with this lovely historical house by a audio visual presentation. There are self-guiding leaflets advising on the order of the rooms to see and describing each room and its contents. The exhibits on display are very interesting and there are facts and stories to attached to them. There is also a guided tour that takes about an hour, it is very informative with lots of interesting and fun stories about the house, the occupants and the items in the house.
The American Room is devoted to Admiral Charles Stewart, he was Parnell's American grandfather who guarded the USS Constitution during the 1812 war.
The grounds are home to mature woodland with a collection of trees and shrubs from all over the world as well as the tallest selection of trees in Ireland. There are six marked out walking trails that vary in length from one hour to five hours, three orienteering courses, a children's play area and picnic area's. The grounds have a lovely wild charm that incorporate walks along the river, as well as being home to many common woodland creatures and over ninety species of bird.
The ruins of Parnells's old sawmill and Parnell's well are also located here.
The house is open Easter and from April through to September. Facilities found here are a licensed cafe, the Kitchen Cafe serving light lunches and tasty snacks, and a book shop.