The time before the reign of Charles II was a turbulent period for Ireland. In fact most notable Irish gardens has to be protected behind walled or embanked enclosures near the house or castle. A superb example of this type of garden is the Upper Garden at Linsmore which still exists to this day. The garden is notable for its formidable walls, turrets, and terracing. But more so is the fact that the place has been in continuous use for more than three and a half centuries. The Linsmore Castle Gardens has also acquired more appeal because this was the place where Spencer allegedly wrote part of his classic Faerie Queen. Visitors enter the garden through the outer gatehouse called the Riding House. This was built in 1631 as accommodations for Lismore-mounted horsemen. The old Upper Garden is located left of the avenue. It occupies a big rectangular spot on two terraces. The surrounding walls of the garden were built in 1626. Richard Boyle, the Great Earl of Cork, built the wall after he acquired the castle from Sir Walter Raleigh in 1602. Visitors to the garden first see the newly planted fruit trees that cover a part of the area which was once occupied by an orchard owned by the Great Earl. Between the borders there is a central walk that passes through the lower terrace. The walk is dramatically aligned to the cathedral spire. This walk then leads to the upper terrace where large patches of earth are grown with vegetables. From here, visitors can see the ridge-furrom greenhouse that was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton in 1858. While from the southwest corner gives a great view of the surrounding landscape, which is dotted by a tower that looms at the horizon. The Lismore Castle Gardens is located near the town of Lismore. It is easily accessible by car. Renting a car is fast becoming the favorite way for tourists to tour Ireland. A trip through the country in a rented car is a more romantic way of seeing Ireland’s beauty. Competitive car hire packages are offered by many car hire companies that operate throughout the country.
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