Historic Irish House & Gardens
“Few houses have kept their genteel charm in the way Hamwood has”
Hamwood House sits surrounded by wooded gardens in unspoilt countryside between Dunboyne and Maynooth in Kildare , and is unique in having been occupied by the same family since it was built almost 250 years ago. Hamwood so called due to its creators Charles Hamilton 1 * (see below) and his wife Elizabeth Chetwood amalgamating their last names , not on account of its wooded surroundings. On arrival at this area at the time one would have been both in awe of the far reaching views towards the Dublin mountains and the ferocious winds which battered this high point in the landscape , being 300 feet above sea level. There was good reason for choosing such a site however , in that the land was amongst the best in Ireland but also it fell naturally from where the house stood allowing good natural drainage. Most importantly too the House was built on rock , the best of foundations.
While works were progressing on the house the family occupied Courthill -an attractive Georgian house in Dunboyne . Mr Hamilton became the agent serving the then Duke of Leinster at Carton estate , a role that passed from father to son through all generations up til Charles 6 in the 1960’s , although the Estate had already been sold. The relationship between the Hamilton family and the Leinsters was a special one and they took an active interest in the development of Hamwood , donating such features as the pair of granite steps to the front of the house , thinnings to form the woodlands and various shrubs and ornamental trees. For such an exposed site it was crucial to protect the house from the strong winds which explains the heavily wooded surroundings. Charles 1 formed the front door and hallway to where now is the back door. His son added the two Palladian wings and the front entrance placed at the end of the west wing at his wife’s insistence that the draughts were kept well away from the main living areas.
Many new additions and developments were carried out by different generations including the walled garden and pine walk where visitors can see an abundance of well established shrubs , plants and ornamental trees amongst the relics of former days when there were several men working the gardens.
HAMWOOD GARDENS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
APRIL – SEPTEMBER, FRIDAY – SUNDAY FROM 10AM-7PM.
HOUSE CAN BE VISITED BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT FOR GROUPS OF 10+. PLEASE EMAIL WITH ENQUIRIES.
Note: For simplicity each successive owner of Hamwood – all called Charles – has been numbered according to the generation, clearly not for any suggestion of royalty!