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The 350 hectares of parkland, formerly Rockingham Estate, seat of the King Harman family, invites you to walk along peaceful nature trails from which you can enjoy the spectacular scenery and panoramic beauty that is preserved and protected in Lough Key Forest Park. You can see all the park from the Moylurg Tower, built on the site of Rockingham Mansion, which was demolished in the 1960's following a fire. The Bog Gardens area is a particular feature of the Park, displaying a wide selection of peat-loving plants and shrubs, and an irregular maze of pathways leading you to many fascinating little nooks and crannies. Masses of colourful rhododendrons mingle with the sweet scented yellow azaleas in early summer. Crossing Drum man's Bridge onto the island, the walk brings you through a delightful springtime bluebell forest. With nothing to disrupt the tranquil atmosphere of the Forest Park you may, at times, have endless walks all to yourself.

Rockingham

Brian Og MacDermotts estate was handed over to the King family in 1617 which was formerly owned by the Cistercian Abbey in Boyle. The original grantee was Sir John King who built a great house only to have it pulled down by his grandson a hundred years later. He cleared the cabins, stables and forges and erected a new house promptly called Rockingham. In 1875 Rockingham was passed onto Col. E R King-Harmon who was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Ireland and died in 1888. His daughter married Thomas Stafford who became medical Commission for the local government board whose surviving son Sir Cecil was the last private owner of the house. In late autumn 1957 the house was gutted by fire. The house stood where the Moylorg tower now stands. The Forest Park is one of over 250 state owned forests around the island and has over 350 hectares. The property was bought in 1959 and even then had some of the features you see today. The park has some great trees laid down during the early Rockingham period and is still with us, notably the giant red cedars and beeches to be seen on the way in. Two years before the purchase of the site hurricane conditions uprooted many old trees and damaged many more. These trees were replaced with a mixture of silver fir and beech.

 

The Big Tree

Attractions

Attractions, 16 Marian rd. Boyle Co. Roscommon, Ireland. +353 79 62418 johnregan123@iolfree.ie