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 also found on this side.

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 is a mixture of Hindu-Gothic with ogee arches and 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 real hidden gem that is steeped in history which makes it a must see on your tours of Ireland.