How many visitors to Ireland make Powerscourt Gardens and Hotel County Wicklow one of their top must see attractions?
Dig deep into the history of this amazing Manor House at Powerscourt and discover The Wingfield Family holders of the title Viscount Powerscourt. They were one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in Ireland. Their estates in Dublin, TYRONE, Wexford and Wicklow totalled over 60,000 acres.
While I too visit the Powerscourt Gardens and enjoy the grandeur of the historical Manor House - Powerscourt Hotel it’s that link with the quiet village of Benburb, County Tyrone that interests me.
Of course I am interested, not only am I a Tourist Guide for Northern Ireland, I live just 30 minutes away from Benburb!
Obviously the Wingfields lived in their magnificent Powerscourt Manor County Wicklow therefore they were absentee landlords of their 16C Castle & Estate at Benburb.
Wingfields had no children therefore the Benburb Estate was inherited by a cousin who sold it on to the wealthy Belfast businessman - James Bruce in 1876.
Belfast Businessman JAMES BRUCE Purchases Benburb Estate
James Bruce was born at Thorndale, the family home in Belfast. His grandfather was Rev Dr William Bruce, minister of first Presbyterian Church in Belfast and headmaster of Belfast Academy.
For 50 years Bruce was a prominent figure in the Belfast business community. He became a prominent partner in the whiskey firm of Durnville & Co.
Bruce built the first Benburb Manor House with further additions along the way. He died in 1917 and his brother inherited the Manor House and sold it on. It has had many uses down through the ages until in 1947 The Servite Priory bought the property and today it is an amazing Retreat & Conference Centre open also for tours with a coffee shop and an excellent Museum………well worth a visit both spiritually and historically.