Uncover a sustainable estate

There's much more to Florence Court than the mansion which lies at the heart of the estate. Take a short walk and you will discover the Cattle Yard, Blacksmiths Forge, Sawmill, Carpenter's Shop and much more!

Carpenter's Workshop

The estate Carpenter's Shop
The estate Carpenter's Shop
The estate Carpenter's Shop
Discover the carpenter’s workshop which is still in operation on a regular basis throughout the season, as one of our volunteers steps into the carpenter's role, creating all kinds of woodwork using wood from the estate. Explore further to find the Sawmill, where the wheel is still turned by the flow from the mill pond.
 
The carpenter’s workshop dates back from after 1857, which made wheels, furniture, ladders, gates, egg boxes and coffins for both the estate and outside customers. The latter included the Great Northern Railway (Ireland), for which the workshop turned out luggage barrows, chocks and wheels. The warmth of the shop’s fire made it a favourite place for tea breaks in winter.
 

18th century Sawmill

Bert expertly guides a log through the 1848 water-powered sawmill
A volunteer putting a log through the sawmill at Florence Court
Bert expertly guides a log through the 1848 water-powered sawmill

The sawmill at Florence Court was built in 1845 by the 3rd Earl, powered by water from the Larganess River, and used estate timber to supply its own and the huge local demand for building materials. In the first half of the 19th century Enniskillen was a fast-growing market town with many building projects that required large quantities of timber: the Town Hall, the Courthouse, Gaol, Barracks, markets. There were various spin-offs from the Florence Court sawmill including items produced in the carpenter’s workshop: sleepers, barrows, sprags, chocks and levers for the Great Northern Railway Company (trains arrived in Fermanagh in 1854) as well as wheels, gates, ladders and coffins.

See our water-powered sawmill in action
Visitors check out the water-powered sawmill at Florence Court
See our water-powered sawmill in action

A recent conservation project has restored the Sawmill back to working order thanks to the support of our visitors and members. Find out more about the project HERE. Make sure you come and visit the Sawmill on your next visit to Florence Court and watch the giant water-wheel in action, for a true piece of history and Victorian technology on the estate. 

Technology from the turn of the century

Take the steps up to the Ice House
Take the steps up to the Ice House
Take the steps up to the Ice House
Learn more about Victorian technology, like the Hydraulic Ram which was installed to pump water into the main house - listen out for the sound of the pump. A little further into the pleasure grounds, you'll come across the Ice House. This deep pit was filled with ice from the river during the winter months and stayed frozen throughout the year, keeping food and reserves chilled to serve the mansion.
 

Blacksmiths Forge

The 18th century forge in action
The 18th century forge in action
The 18th century forge in action

The forge was remodelled at the same time in the 1840s in order to finish much of the carpentry work for the main house and the estate: for instance the wooden wheels needed metal tyres. In addition the Forge continued to make and maintain farming implements and horse shoes, necessary for food production and transport. 

Visitors can see the 18th century Forge during the open season and on certain event days throughout the year, visitors can watch the Blacksmiths at work as they recreate the art of blacksmithing with displays.  

 

Walled Garden

Pick up some of our vegetables grown on the estate in the Kitchen Garden shop
The gardener holds some homegrown squash in the Kitchen Garden at Florence Court
Pick up some of our vegetables grown on the estate in the Kitchen Garden shop

There was and still is a beautiful and highly productive ornamental walled garden. Here alongside the roses and ponds was an apple orchard, currants, rhubarb, summer berries, melons and in the 19th century glasshouses with vines, apricots and nectarines. The vegetables included long rows of different beans and salad leaves, roots and brassicas, onions, leeks, asparagus and artichokes. Alongside was a large herb garden grown for culinary and ornamental uses.  Drinking water came, initially, from a spring on the estate and later Marble Arch caves.

Today, the walled garden is a beautiful native Irish apple orchard and rose garden. There are plans to recreate the glasshouses and bring the lower garden back into cultivation and to its 1930s layout. A variety of fresh produce and plants can be purchased from the Visitor Centre during the season, which helps to support the ongioing developments in the garden.