Prince Charles sees plant conservation work on botanic garden visit in Wicklow

Britain's Prince of Wales took a guided tour through the stunning scenery of a botanical garden as his tour of Ireland continued.

Prince Charles strolled through the National Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh, County Wicklow, to see the important work that is being undertaken in plant conservation.

When he arrived, he was greeted by Kevin Moran, Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, and Seamus O Brien, Head Gardener at Kilmacurragh, who showed the prince around.

Kilmacurragh is renowned for its remarkable gardens and plant collection established by the Acton family.

The present collection of mature exotics is largely based on material collected by some of the great plant-hunters of the 19th century.

Prince Charles began his visit by walking through a wild meadow with the Wicklow hills as a stunning backdrop, and followed a path which took him to Kilmacurragh House.

The ruined shell of a building is a rare example of the Queen Anne style of architecture in Ireland and was in 1697.

The house, designed by William Robinson and commissioned by Thomas Acton, was built in 1697 and was known as Westaston Estate from 1750 to 1850.

The vision for the property, whose upper floors are supported by metal girders, is to preserve the building as one of the earliest unfortified country houses in Ireland.

The house and gardens remained in the hands of the Acton family from their inception at the start of the 18th century until 1944 when they were sold.

- Press Association

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