Temple Water at Castle Ward

Enjoy beautiful walks along Temple Water © National Trust, Castle Ward

Enjoy beautiful walks along Temple Water

Temple Water is an important piece of garden history. Although canals of this sort became fashionable among landowners in Ireland in the early 18th-century, it is now one of the very few to survive.

It was created in 1728 by Judge Michael Ward. The water canal dug created a formal landscape and was designed to reflect the picturesque ruins of Audley Castle at one end and Lady Anne's Temple along one side. The canal is 580 yards (530m) long and is the largest ornamental garden feature to survive in Ireland from the early 18th-century. A second canal used to run at a right angle to this. It was replanted in the 1970s with an avenue of young limes and is now called the Lime Tree Walk. This beautiful walk can be accessed from our farmyard and will take you around the Temple Water and by Lady Anne’s Temple providing stunning scenery and breathtaking views.

The Yew Tree Terrace, a feature of the formal landscape, has also survived and is thought to date back to the late 17th-century. There are three beautiful walks planted with these English Yew Trees.

The Temple built as a garden retreat for Lady Anne Ward in the 18th-century. Such striking retreats were popular with land owners who were sufficiently well endowed financially to afford them and served to make a statement of social standing. On your visit to Castle Ward follow the small path up to Lady Anne’s Temple. The front elevation with its Doric columns provides a dramatic focus and view point over the landscape.

The Temple Water provides beautiful walks along the water and through wild flower meadows. This is definitely an area of the estate no visitor should miss out on.