Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park


Location: Donegal County Map

Area: 170 km2 (41,900 acres)


Description of Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park is a nature reserve located in Donegal County of Ireland.  Glenveagh National Park is a second largest Irish nature reserve and covers an area of 170 km2 (41,900 acres) in the vicinity of the Glenveagh Castle. Much of the bio reserve that surround Lough (lake) Veagh contains grasslands and low growing trees. Among fauna of Glenveagh National Park the most noticeable species are red deer and formerly extinct, but recently reintroduced golden eagle.


In 1857-1859, the governor John George Adair (1823-1885), who came from County Laois, bought several neighbouring land plots in County Donegal and formed Glenveagh from them. In April 1861 he forced 244 tenants to vacate the area because he promised better profits from livestock farming. In 1870 he started building Glenveagh Castle. The castle was completed in 1873. After his death in 1885, his wife Cornelia took over the lands. She had the castle expanded and the gardens laid out and spent the summer here until 1916. After her death in 1921, the facility was orphaned and was seized by both sides during the Irish Civil War. In 1929, Professor Arthur Kingsley Porter, a historian at Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts), bought the property. After his death in 1933, the castle was once again empty until it was acquired by Henry McIlhenny from Philadelphia (USA) in 1937. Both Kingsley Porter and McIlhenny liked to receive artists and celebrities in Glenveagh. In the library hang pictures of AE Russel. Yehudi Menuhin, like Greta Garbo, has stayed here several times. McIlhenny had Jim Russell remodel the garden and increase the variety of plants from 1940 on. In 1975 he sold the land to the Office of Public Works, which is responsible for maintaining and maintaining the historical sites of the Irish state so that it could establish the National Park. In 1981, he donated the garden and the castle with the majority of the establishment of the national Park administration.

The castle with its interior can still be visited today in the almost original condition. The National Park was opened to the public in 1984 and the castle in 1986.