Learn about the history of science and wander centuries-old walled gardens on the grounds of the Earl of Rosse's residence at Birr Castle Gardens. Known for their interest in science, the earls founded Ireland's Historic Science Centre on the castle grounds. The Third Earl was responsible for constructing the great telescope that points toward the stars. At that time, it was the largest telescope in the world and could see further into space than any other. Other exhibits inside the science center showcase some of the earliest advances in photography, engineering, and botany. The castle itself remains the home of the hereditary earls, so it is closed to the public. However, the grounds, science center, and gardens are open when you pay the entrance fee. Events are a regular occurance at the attraction, such as the Irish Game and County Fair, and these charge a special admission fee. Plan to visit Birr Castle Gardens and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended County Offaly attractions using our County Offaly route builder tool .
Tours to Birr Castle Gardens
Hidden Heartlands Private Guided Day Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $336
Duration: 8 hours
Castles of Offaly Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $112
Duration: 8 hours 30 minutes
Birr Castle Gardens Reviews
We toured this location on a day with beautiful weather in early autumn and the grounds were amazing. There are specimens of trees from all over the world, apparently some very rare ones. There is a l... more »
as a family, we spent an afternoon here whilst staying in Birr. it was a great day out, and catered for the whole family. Loads to do and see and for the kids too. highly recommend a visit, i can imag... more »
I had a great visit. The telescope is very interesting, largest until the Mount Wilson Telescope in US was built. The plant and tree variety on the grounds is very large. The redwoods are very large and beautiful. Kids would especially love the playground with giant wooden castle and all the science based exhibits. The cafe and gift shop have all types of things to purchase.
While you cannot go into the castle (its a private residence) unless you book a private tour, the grounds of this estate are amazing! Beautifully maintained and well marked. And a real Red Wood tree from California! The playground alone would bring me back if, as an adult, I was allowed to play on it! (It may be that I was but I did not want to interrupt the fun the many children were having on the tree house castle.)
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