Discover the Walled Garden
At the top of the lake walk you will find a path leading you to what was once the Rose Garden, Dairy and Vinery. Restoring the historic Walled Garden at Mount Stewart means that we can save the rose garden and home of one of the oldest grape vines in the UK and Ireland, 'The White Syrian' planted in 1769.
The Walled Garden was the powerhouse of the Demesne, providing the plants, raised mainly from seed supplied by plant collectors from around the world. It is also known to have produced a wide variety of fruit and vegetables to serve the house and feed the estate staff. The 1834 Ordnance Survey map shows that it was symmetrically arranged with a central path entering through what is now the Rose Garden and Dairy, lined by trees leading to the high wall against which were long heated glass houses, one of which survives.
The Rose Garden combined two of Lady Londonderry’s passions, the desire for scents and perfume within the garden and healthy eating. It will add a new facet to the visitor's day at Mount Stewart to once again house an extensive collection of the best scented period roses. In the open quarters of the Orchard we hope to plant a selection of fruit trees and grow soft fruit in the restored Vineries and Peach Houses showing the ‘higher flights of horticulture’.
The Vinery is the only significant historic glasshouse left in the demesne and it houses a very significant vine, ‘White Syrian’, (planted only one year after the oldest vine in the UK, the Hampton Court Vine, planted in 1768), making it beyond doubt the oldest vine in Ireland.
The Dairy is an exceptionally pretty circular building with a moss-covered roof, which was transplanted from an old ice house. The interior still has some original bespoke fixed furniture in the form of marble shelving and a central font. Spanish-type lustre wall tiles line the walls above the shelving.