Stunning views from the Pleasure Grounds
Located beside the main house, the Pleasure Grounds at Florence Court is perfect for a short, peaceful and mindfulness walk as you explore what was once a favourite amongst the Cole Family.
Highlights within the Pleasure Grounds include the views over Benaughlin mountain and the forest, also features like the Summer House, Mill wheel, Ram House, Ice House, Nelly Woolly's grave and the Eel House Bridge.
There are also historic trees which have been located in the Pleasure Grounds for decades including the Cucumber Magnolia, Weeping Beech, Fern leafed Beech and the Flowering Ash. The Pleasure Grounds are accessible all-year with a well pathed system and well-maintained grounds thanks to our gardener and volunteers. We encourage you to visit the Pleasure Grounds at any time of the year, but we especially recommend in May/June for the beautiful colour of the Rhododendrons and October for the warm autumn colour.
History of the Summer House
Rebuilt in the late-1980s to designs based on 19th century photographs of the feature. The foundation and cobbled floor are the only parts of the 18th century structure that remain. The Summer House was built in 1993 as a replica of a much older structure that stood on the estate. The foundation and cobbled floor are the only parts of the 18th century structure that remain. It was built by a team of two brothers with only one photograph of the original to draw plans from.
More than just a garden
Located on the edge of the Pleasure Grounds, an 18th century building was adapted in the 1840s into a Sawmill , powered by a waterwheel made by William Maxwell of Dublin in 1848. Water was taken from the Larganess River by a headrace, feeding water to the higher-level millpond and then by wooden flume to the waterwheel. Spur wheels and pulleys transferred power to the rack-bench saw, fed by hand-cranked rollers. Besides gate posts, boards and firewood, the Sawmill made railway sleepers for the Great Northern Railway, Ireland and the Giant’s Causeway Tramway. The millpond also provided the pressure for the hydraulic ram, which pumped water uphill to the house and into the roof tank. The hydraulic ram can still be seen and heard today when visiting the Pleasure Grounds.