The Stunning Park of Rossmore Forest, Monaghan, Ireland

Rossmore Forest

Updated On: April 09, 2024 by   Shaimaa OlwanShaimaa Olwan

Ireland is known to possess a lot of fascinating parks where you can sit and enjoy the tranquillity of the place. Greenery makes life look so much better and livelier. There are a lot of parks that you can visit and enjoy. However, this time, it is all about Rossmore Forest Park. It is a national forest park located in County Monaghan. The park is not within the county’s borders but only a few miles outside. Coillte, an Irish States Forestry Organisation, currently runs the park.

A Brief History

The history of Rossmore Forest Park is as captivating as its natural splendour. Originally part of the Rossmore Estate, the park was established in the early 19th century by the Leslie family, prominent landowners in the area. The estate passed through various hands until Monaghan County Council acquired it in the 1960s to preserve its natural beauty for future generations.

Rossmore Forest Park in the Modern Days

Rossmore Forest Park – Monaghan – County Monaghan – Ireland

Rossmore Forest Park is one of the prominent sites in Monaghan, Ireland, and contains one of the most remarkable historical landmarks, Rossmore Castle. The whole place used to belong to the Rossmore family. Besides, the castle was home to Lord Rossmore. Back then, the Rossmore family were the landlords of the whole area all through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, the park assists in recreational purposes. However, it still offers places for people to walk and hang around. It is full of unique trees and plant life. Adjacent to the park is the Rossmore Golf Club. It is a vast area where people can enjoy playing golf.

Facilities of the Park

The beautiful walks we have already mentioned are the most exciting part of the park. And, yes, people refer to them as the Walks. The paths are of excellent maintenance, making the experience equally enjoyable. It is also suitable for visitors with wheelchairs and ambitious hikers. Those walks can take four miles to enjoy a captivating scene.

Interestingly, there is a map that can guide you around the park. It is made of weather-protected material. So, no matter what time you go there, you can find your guide safe and sound, waiting for you. There are picnic tables to help you sit around and enjoy your meals. It is essential to emphasise the cleanliness of the place. You can find litter bins all around to throw your rubbish in. Besides, the toilets are spotless and safe to use. Since the park is this eye-pleasing, it is anticipated to be featured on the big screen. Remember the horror movie Shrooms from 2007? It was a point-of-fact shot there.

Walking Trails

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Rossmore Forest Park is by exploring its network of walking trails. A trail suits every ability and interest, from strolls to more challenging hikes. The park’s flagship trail, the Nature Trail, offers a gentle 3-kilometre loop through woodlands, past lakes, and meadows, perfectly introducing the park’s natural wonders.

For those seeking a more adventurous outing, the Woodland Walk and Lake Walk trails offer longer routes with varying terrain and stunning viewpoints. Along the way, walkers may encounter hidden gems such as the picturesque Rossmore Castle, a 19th-century folly nestled amidst the trees, or the tranquil shores of Rossmore Lake, where swans glide gracefully across the water.

The Natural Life in Rossmore Forest Park

Rossmore Forest
Rossmore Forest

The park indeed has fantastic scenery to enjoy. Not to mention the lakesides and the trees all over the place. Above and beyond, there are also giant redwoods that you can’t but notice while at the car park. Little mammals, birds, and insects also reside next to the unique plant life you can find there. Many foxes, hedgehogs, badgers, and otters roam around the park. It is also claimed that the park possesses five species of bats out of all seven in Ireland. Not to mention the excellent population of birds. You can find wildfowl in winter; in summer, you will discover flycatchers, cuckoos, warblers, and more.

Historical Landmarks

In addition to its natural attractions, Rossmore Forest Park is steeped in history, with several notable landmarks scattered throughout its grounds. Chief among these is Rossmore Castle, a striking Gothic Revival mansion built in the mid-19th century by the Leslie family. Although the castle is now in ruins, its imposing facade and ivy-clad walls evoke a sense of grandeur and mystery, transporting visitors back to a bygone era.

Nearby, the Walled Garden offers a glimpse into the estate’s former glory, with its meticulously maintained flower beds, ornamental ponds, and ancient yew trees. Originally designed as a pleasure garden for the Leslie family, the Walled Garden is now a peaceful oasis where visitors can relax and unwind amidst the scent of roses and the buzzing of bees.

History of Rossmore Castle

On the outskirts of the county of Monaghan, you can find a large complex building. It is the Rossmore Castle, where the family resided in the 18th and 19th centuries. While the park is said to have been around since the 1st Lord Rossmore, the castle isn’t as old. Legends have it that the 3rd Lord Rossmore was the one to have erected that vast building. The whole castle is made in Tudor Gothic style by the designer William Vitruvius Morrison. In 1858, another designer, William Henry Lynn, added an extension to the castle. That extension had a different style than the Scottish Baronial style.

Rossmore Castle Renovations 

The original building that Lord Rossmore erected in 1827 had a large square tower and turret. Besides, when William Henry carried out his extensions, he also built two towers that were not identical. Instead, one of the towers was smaller than the other and had a spire. On the other hand, the more enormous tower had a polygonal turret and cupola. Despite how great the castle looked, it had undergone more than a few renovations.

At some point in history, Mr Shirley of Lough Fea used to compete with Lord Rossmore. They competed in the buildings’ sizes and claimed that each had the largest room in the county. To keep up with their claims, they renovated their buildings several times.

Lord Rossmore had enlarged the drawing room in his castle around five times. Those constant changes resulted in a building shape different from when it was first built. The final result is a building with hundreds of windows- around 117- with 50 shapes and sizes. There are also three towers in total.

Unfortunately, the house is not as it used to be. After the Second World War, the building became severely dry. It was too extreme that even the Rossmore Family, the 6th lord by that time, forcibly left the castle. Eventually, the castle surrendered to ruin and thrash. But that did not change the fact that people still enjoy the park.

Activities and Amenities

Rossmore Forest Park offers various activities and amenities to cater to visitors of all ages and interests. Picnic areas throughout the park provide the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely lunch amidst nature, while children will delight in the park’s playgrounds and open spaces.

For those looking to explore the park from a different perspective, guided nature walks and wildlife talks are available throughout the year, led by knowledgeable rangers passionate about sharing their love of the natural world. Anglers can also try fishing in Rossmore Lake, stocked with trout and perch, while cyclists can explore the park’s designated trail network at their own pace.

Conservation and Sustainability

As custodians of this precious natural resource, Monaghan County Council is committed to preserving and protecting the biodiversity of Rossmore Forest Park for future generations to enjoy. Through sustainable management practices such as selective tree thinning, invasive species control, and habitat restoration, the council aims to ensure that the park remains a thriving ecosystem for years.

Visitors to Rossmore Forest Park can play their part in conservation efforts by adhering to the park’s guidelines and respecting its flora and fauna. By leaving no trace, staying on designated trails, and taking only photographs, visitors can help minimize their environmental impact and contribute to the park’s ongoing sustainability.

Conclusion

In a fast-paced world where green spaces are increasingly scarce, Rossmore Forest Park is a shining example of nature’s enduring power and beauty. From its ancient woodlands and tranquil lakes to its historic landmarks and diverse wildlife, the park offers a sanctuary of peace and serenity for all who venture within its bounds.

Whether seeking adventure, relaxation or simply connecting with the natural world, Rossmore Forest Park has something to offer everyone. So why not escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of this hidden gem in the heart of Monaghan, Ireland? With its charm and appeal, Rossmore Forest Park will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Have you visited Rossmore Forest Park or Rosemore Castle? We love to hear your experiences!

Also, don’t forget to check out our other blogs that might interest you: Tollymore Forest Park| Redburn Country Park| Belvoir Park Belfast| Helen’s Bay Beach| Botanic Gardens| Dundrum Castle| Antrim Castle Gardens| Bundoran- Donegal|

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