Portrane Hospital Victorian Walled Garden and Orchard

Discussion for Donabate/Portrane Local History
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Portrane Hospital Victorian Walled Garden and Orchard

Post by Brunnerboy » 23 Oct 2020, 10:20

Remnants of this once beautiful breathtaking walled garden remain still in place. Old apple trees laden down with fruit, plum trees, vines and ornamental hedging around ruins of old house, arbutus, pittosporum, rosemary. Timber and alumimium glasshouses destroyed, once heated by pipes from boiler house. Keys thrown away circa 1984 and ever since then it has lay in rack and ruin.
It would be a marvellous community project to restore the old orchard back to its glory days, cut away brambles from base of trees, carefully prune each tree and later graft new ones. Catalogue each tree in advance. On a fine summers day in May there is nothing, nothing like the sight and scent of apple blossom in full canopy with bees and insects all round doing there work of pollination. Plus this is on our doorstep, on the peninsula, and it would be a loss to future generations to let it pass forever into decline.
Would anybody have any old photographs of the gardens when in full production and also any names for the variety of apple trees sown? Any stories relating to how the gardens were run as many occupants of the old hospital got some satisfaction from working there? There is a lot of history here, mostly unrecorded and hopefully something will show up.

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Re: Portrane Hospital Victorian Walled Garden and Orchard

Post by Ann O » 23 Oct 2020, 23:38

I haven't been up close to it in a few years, but there were attempts around then to do what you are proposing.

It is/was a beautiful site, that up to relatively recently wouldn't have taken much to get it back under control. I fear the recent years of development/vandalism/neglect have taken their toll, which is a damn shame.

I seem to recall it was possibly the Transition Towns people that tried to get access to the walled garden with offers to rescue it, but were rebuffed by the HSE/Council or whoever owns that site. I may be wrong about that, but perhaps any member reading who was involved at the time, may post their experience of previous attempts.

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Re: Portrane Hospital Victorian Walled Garden and Orchard

Post by Ken » 25 Oct 2020, 16:21

It is a pity that it's been let go to ruin over the years. I wonder if there are any plans to do something with it as part of the NFMHS site?


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Re: Portrane Hospital Victorian Walled Garden and Orchard

Post by yelruf » 25 Oct 2020, 16:52

Have you ever been in them Brunnerboy ?

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