County Meath Country House and Gardens, Slane, Republic of Ireland

The front entrance of one of the very few surviving classical Irish country houses from the early eighteenth century, recognized in the Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage; Slane, Republic of Ireland

The front entrance of one of the very few surviving classical Irish country houses from the early eighteenth century, recognized in the Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage; Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

The County Meath House that we visited from Dublin, built in 1712, is one of the very few surviving classical Irish country houses from the early eighteenth century.  The architectural design and detailing of this house are immediately apparent, as the architectural form of the house is enhanced by many original features and materials, such as the slate roof, molded window surrounds and string courses.  The house has important historical connections with Gustavus Hamilton, a noted Protestant politician in Irish affairs during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.  Hamilton commanded a regiment of Williamite soldiers at the Battle of the Boyne (1690) and later rose to become a Major General in the English Army and fought against Louis XIV of France.

 

The back of the Irish country house opens onto a magnificent garden, Slane, Republic of Ireland

The back of the Irish country house opens onto a magnificent garden, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #1, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #1, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

The gardens have been restored, enhanced and greatly expanded over the past two decades with many themed gardens added (e.g., the Japanese Garden, the Birthday Garden, the Chinese Garden).  When the present owners bought the estate of 500 acres, it had been a stud farm, largely in fields, with some of the original features, such as a canal, filled in.  The design and execution of the present gardens is extraordinary.  We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the estate and are happy to share these photographs.

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #2, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #2, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #3, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #3, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #4, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #4, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #5, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #5, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #6, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #6, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #7, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #7, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #8, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #8, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #9, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #9, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #10, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #10, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #11, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #11, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #12, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #12, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #13, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #13, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #14, Slane, Republic of Ireland

County Meath Country House’s Gardens #14, Slane, Republic of Ireland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Drink local: Slane Distillery, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

The Slane Distillery was opened in 2017 by the family owners of Slane Castle in a joint partnership with Brown-Forman Beverages and Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, USA, in the River Boyne region

The Slane Distillery was opened in 2017 by the family owners of Slane Castle in a joint partnership with Brown-Forman Beverages and Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, USA, in the River Boyne Valley that has a rich heritage of Irish whiskey distilleries, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

Situated about an hour north of Dublin alongside the River Boyne, Slane Castle has been home to the Conyngham family since 1703.  Surrounded by parklands designed by landscape architect Capability Brown, the four-story, crenelated castle was reconstructed in 1785 with the guidance of three leading architects: James Wyatt, James Gandon, and Francis Johnston.  Music lovers may know it as the setting for one-day annual summer concerts by U2, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and many others.  We began our visit at the distillery with cocktail made from Slane Irish Whiskey, accompanied by some canapes.  Our tour began outside in the 250 year-old Georgian stables, converted to the distillery which opened in 2017.  Over the course of the tour we learned about the distinct steps that are involved in turning barley into Irish Whiskey.  Using estate grown barley and water from the River Boyne, Slane Distillery produces a distinctive Irish whiskey, triple-aged in virgin American oak casks, Tennessee whiskey casks, and Oloroso sherry casks.  Slane Irish Whiskey takes many of its complex and smooth qualities from the cask aging, after which the whiskeys are blended to create the complex but smooth final whiskey – we enjoyed some neat at the end of the tour, and then were surprised how the addition of just a few drops of water changed its character and made for a fine, even smoother, silkier drink.

 

Slane Castle, a four-story, crenelated castle was reconstructed in 1785, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

Slane Castle, a four-story, crenelated castle was reconstructed in 1785, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

The distillery was carefully built in the landmark status stable buildings of Slane Caste, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

The distillery was carefully built in the landmark status stable buildings of Slane Caste, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

A flow chart from Slane Distillery showing the many steps involved in turning barley into Slane Irish Whiskey, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

A flow chart from Slane Distillery showing the many steps involved in turning barley into Slane Irish Whiskey, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

Brewing at Slane Distillery takes place in the Lauter Tun and Mash Tun, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

Brewing at Slane Distillery takes place in the Lauter Tun and Mash Tun, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

The distillation columns at Slane Distillery, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

The distillation columns at Slane Distillery, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

These old barrels were shown as examples of the three types of barrels that the whiskey at Slane Distillery is aged in before blending to create the complex but smooth final Slane Irish Whiskey, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

These old barrels were shown as examples of the three types of barrels that the whiskey at Slane Distillery is aged in before blending to create the complex but smooth final Slane Irish Whiskey, Slane, County Meath, Republic of Ireland

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2019 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.