Powerscourt House and Gardens

Elma and I have just returned from a very pleasant break in the Republic of Ireland. We stayed in Finnstown  House in Lucan just outside Dublin. This was an ideal spot for visiting the Vale of Avoca and Glendalough that are very well known beauty spots in Co Wicklow.

Our first visit was to Powerscourt House and Gardens some of whose history may be read at http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerscourt_Estate.

I thought I would post a few pics of the house and gardens.

Powerscourt House Front

House Rear

Steps & Garden

House

Tower

Bridge

Bridge 3

Bridge 2

The house was all but destroyed by fire in 1974 and the interior has been rebuilt to feature a number of small shops and restaurant. There is also a small exhibition featuring the history of the estate that dates back to the 13th century when the  castle was a man by the name of La Poer, which was eventually anglicised to “Power, later the  Wingfield dynasty.

On a very personal level I was very disappointed to find that the present owners, the Slazenger family have omitted a very significant part of the history that dates back to the middle of the 19th Century. A history that has literally had  world wide implications. Lady Theodosia Wingfield Powerscourt was a young and wealthy widow, and like her friend John Nelson Darby, was a member of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy in the early 19th century. Viscountess  Powerscourt was a powerful advocate in the formative years of the movement that became known as the Plymouth Brethren.

J.N. Darby, recognized as one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren, was a very close friend of Lady Powerscourt. It is believed that they at one time planned to marry but mutually decided that their lives were headed in different directions. Some say that they were ‘dissuaded’ by other members of the early Plymouth Brethren.

Lady Powerscourt has been described as a young, beautiful and wealthy widow – but she was certainly a deeply spiritual woman, using the palatial Powerscourt estate to host Prophecy Conferences – which were attended by both JND and Edward Irving.

It was at one of these Conferences when Darby announced his theories regarding the ‘Rapture of the Church’, a dramatic end-times scenario that is adhered-to by millions of evangelical Christians to this day.

The cultural world of Lady Powerscourt was also the world of John Nelson Darby and her letters and papers provide valuable insights into the minds and attitudes of the early founders of the Plymouth Brethren.

Both born in 1800, Lady Powerscourt never remarried and died in 1836.  John Darby never married and would live until 1882.

This brief outline has been copied from Peeps.net

Although not as strong numerically as they once were there are large numbers  so called Plymouth Brethren groups in N Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA along with numerous other groups in Europe , India,Asia and latin America.

Lady Theodosia Wingfield Powerscourt was a very strong early member and fervent adherent to fundamentalist christianity.

 

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5 Responses to Powerscourt House and Gardens

  1. Steve Moore says:

    Thanks for the pictures, Mike! The view you show in your 3d pic almost stopped me in my tracks when we visited Powerscourt in ’02. I think it has well been named the “finest formal garden in Europe.”

    Thanks for the history fill-in, too. We knew some Plymouth Brethren when we lived in Ecuador — several of them from the UK, in fact! It was a PB missionary (this one from the US) who baptized my sister and me.

  2. I sort of thought this particular post might have been of interest to you Steve. Your references to Ecuador and your NIV creation verse on your blog led me to think there may have been an Evangelical back ground. God bless and thanks for your comments.

  3. Steve Moore says:

    My parents worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators. We’re not Plymouth Brethren ourselves, but the term “evangelical” applies to us, I’d say. We still have contact with some of the old Plymouth Brethren friends.

  4. Beothuck says:

    Being from a Brethren bachground myself, I have developed a keen interest in Powerscourt. I would agree that the owners of Powerscourt have downplayed Powerscourt House and Estate in the beginnings of the Plymouth Brethern and those who played an important part in this Christian Movement, such as Theodosia and Richard Powerscourt, John Nelson Darby and many others.

    There too, is the family cemetary, where Richard and Theodosia, and Richard’s first wife (a cousin of Theodosia) are all buried. It seems this part of the Estate is off limits to any and all visitors. It seems it is negelected and overgrown with bush and vegetation. However I do have a copy of a photo taken inside the cemetarty, by someone who climed over the wall without permission, and which verifies the conditions I mentioned above.

    I should like to visit Powerscourt one day, just to reflect on the history of the place and what happened there in the early ninethth century. Maybe, sooner than we think, the Rapture JNDarby and TAP spoke so much about, will break open those overgrown graves of Theodosia and Richard Powerscourt, fullfilling scripture as promised.

    And thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

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