The Sunken Garden at Castle Ward

Walk around the beautiful Sunken Garden for a relaxing afternoon © National Trust

Walk around the beautiful Sunken Garden for a relaxing afternoon

In contrast to the naturalistic style of the park surrounding the house the Victorian taste for formal gardens and bedding is reflected in the Sunken Garden.

The Sunken Garden, also known as the Windsor Garden, originated as an 18th-century flower, kitchen garden. It was remodelled in the 19th-century according to a design at Windsor, hence the name. The elaborate design had 61 Parterres planted with Victorian Seasonal bedding. This would have been changed three times per year.

Since the acquisition of Castle Ward by the National Trust, the Windsor Garden is also referred to as the Sunken Garden. It was given this name as it is on four levels. One of the features of this historical garden are the original Irish Yews planted on the west side. It is planted with tender shrubs, cordylines and dwarf fan palms to enhance its exotic Victorian air. The sunken area, which once held the elaborate parterre, now has a small circular pond with a statue of Neptune brandishing his trident.

As you walk through the garden you can marvel at the two magnificent stone eagles that have been returned to their former resting place. Thanks to generous funding from the Ulster Gardens Scheme, the eagles have been restored to their former splendour and sit proudly on specially created pedestals. Although originally situated on the middle level on either side of the steps the eagles now sit in the next corner back.

The Sunken Garden is a peaceful and beautiful place for a walk leading you up to the front of the Castle Ward Mansion. Whether you are enjoying a long, lazy summers day relaxing in the garden or wrapping up warm for a winter walk, the Sunken Garden can be enjoyed all year.

A group tour of the garden can be arranged if necessary, when booking your group visit. Contact our reception on 028 4488 1204 to book your group visit.