An audience with the Earl of Rosse

February 11, 2011  |   Posted by : admin  |   Uncategorized   |   0 Comment»

This week we had the pleasure of meeting the 7th Earl of Rosse at his private estate of Birr Castle in County Offaly. Home to the Great Telescope, which was the largest in the world for 70 years, and to stunning gardens which span 50 hectares and boast exotic plants from around the globe, Birr Castle is an important attraction in the Irish Midlands and offers a fascinating insight into the history of the Parsons family who have lived there since 1620.

Lord Rosse joined us to greet a group of British journalists who were visiting the castle whilst staying at nearby lakeshore retreat Wineport Lodge in Athlone. The keen horticulturalist pointed out some of his favourite trees and plants in the magnificent grounds and talked about his predecessors who have been a pioneering force in a variety of arenas ranging from astrology to photography; including the 3rd Earl of Rosse, Charles Parsons, who invented the steam turbine engine and famously introduced its use on marine vessels.

Whilst discovering this charming region, in association with Tourism Ireland, the group of visitors also enjoyed a river cruise along the Shannon, a pint of Guinness in Sean’s Bar – the oldest pub in Europe, and the chance to enjoy craft-making at the Ballinahown Irish Design Craft Village, highlighting the variety of attractions for tourists in this idyllic part of the country, just an hour’s drive from Dublin.

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