Birr Castle Gardens in the Georgian town of Birr are world famous for the large selection of rare plants collected by the Earls of Ross over the last 150 years. The gardens are home to the world’s tallest box hedges, Ireland’s largest Tree House and adventure centre the Giant Telescope and Science Centre. The castle is still lived in by the Ross family and is open for guided tours on special dates between May and August. The Great Telescope was built in the 1840’s by the third earl of Ross. This Reflecting Telescope remained the largest in the world for over 70 years and is arguably the largest historic scientific instrument still working today.
The interactive science centre houses astronomical instruments, cameras, photographs and photographic equipment used by the Third and Fourth Earls and Mary, Countess of Rosse, in the middle and late 1800’s.
Also on display is electrical and engineering equipment originally belonging to Charles Parsons and used in his experiments as well as a large area devoted to the botanical work carried out in the Demesne.
16th March – 31st Oct 9:00 – 18:00
1st November – 15th March 10:00 – 16:00