On the outskirts of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh stands Castle Coole, the family home of the Earls of Belmore and one of the treasures of the National Trust.
Designed by James Wyatt, this magnificent neo-classical house took ten years to build. It was completed in 1798.
The interior of the house was created by some of the leading craftsmen of the late 18th century with chimney pieces carved by Westmacott, plasterwork created by Rose, scagliola columns and pilasters created by Bartoli.
Highlights of a tour of Castle Coole are the magnificent state rooms with their sumptuous Regency furnishings. These include the State Bedroom said to have been prepared for a visit by George IV in 1821.
The surrounding estate is a fitting setting for the house, with parkland, Lough Coole and extensive woods.
Visitors may enjoy walks in the grounds and also see the Grand Yard, the Servants’ Tunnel, the recently restored Ice House, the dairy, stables, laundry house and display room which includes the Belmore Private Coach.
A major stonework restoration programme was completed in 1988 after seven years of work. Her Majesty, the Queen Mother, re-opened Castle Coole to the public.
Castle Coole is within easy reach of two other National Trust properties in County Fermanagh – Florence Court and Crom Estate.