Uncover a sustainable estate
There's more to Florence Court estate than the stunning mansion which catches your eye as you arrive. Take a walk around the grounds and discover places like the Cattle Yard, Blacksmiths Forge, Sawmill and Carpenter's Shop, which tell the stories of the working heart of the estate.
This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please make sure you check web pages for individual places before you travel, to see where is open and where you may need to book, as well as the most up to date information about visiting.
18th century 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.
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
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.
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.