Dromana House, County Waterford
What is left of Dromana House is dramatically sited on a rocky escarpment overlooking the Blackwater estuary. It was built in the 17th and 18th centuries as an addition to a 15th century stronghold of the Fitzgeralds, badly damaged in the Civil War. Much of the house has been demolished, but the surviving parts include a particularly fine doorway. The huge curved area outside, overlooking the river, is the site of the former ballroom. The remains of the castle are on this side, too.
Sir Walter Raleigh was a guest there, and it was also the birthplace of Katherine Fitzgerald, the ‘Old’ Countess of Desmond, said by some to have lived to 120, by others to 160! In any event, she achieved celebrity because of her age and the manner of her death – she died in 1604 as the result of a fall from a cherry tree.
Dromana Gate – a mixture of Hindu-Gothic with ogee arches – was built in 1830 as a honeymoon gift for Henry Villiers-Stuart and his wife. It has recently been restored by the Irish Georgian Society.
Dromana House is a must see on your Ireland tours.