A walk over the farm

The layout of Ballybrado Farm reflects the landscape of a time when heavy machinery was not available to shape the farm in the most efficient and economic manner. The result is that nothing looks out of place, everything as the landscape suggests; all-in-all a rather old-fashioned impression, but in a very warm and harmonic way.

The Golden Vale provides a fertile soil to grow healthy livestock and produce nutritious crops at Ballybrado - and:
Being born on an Organic farm makes our lambs extra happy!

Of its once glorious size of thousands of acres Ballybrado consists today of 120 acres which are farmed organically. Its location in the Golden Vale provides a fertile soil to grow healthy livestock and produce nutritious crops.

The River Suir borders the farm for 2 km. The Thonogue and some smaller streams merge at Ballybrado and flow into the Suir.  Turning southwards from the house one passes the gate to the old, 2 1/2km long avenue which once carried the coaches to and from the house.
 A foot style brings you over to the other side of the Thonogue. Although a small stream, it is an important spawning ground for salmon. From here one has a splendid view of the Hill of Carrigataha, the Suir valley and the Knockmealdown Mountains in the distance.

Located at the south end of the farm there is a roaring well where a strong gush of water comes out from a cliff and flows into the Suir. It is the opening into a cave. Properly equipped one can dive into the cave for a bout 1,000m. This cave is contained in the book “The Divable Caves of Europe”.

Walking back northwards along the River Suir you’ll pass a majestic chestnut tree with a circumference of the stem of more than 6m.

Right at the River Suir: a majestic chestnut tree. The circumference of its trunk exceeds 6 m.

Further down basket willows have been planted along the river to secure the banks. They will be coppiced at a height of 6 feet. Some wetlands have been afforested with alder trees. They like the location and will supply fuel in years to come. An island in the river is home to a pair of swans who raise their cygnets here every year.

The lands sloping down to the river are wooded and provide fuel for the winter months.
Leaving the woods the land levels out and forms a plateau with fertile, arable soil.

Many original farm features of the Victorian times are still present.

Ballybrado, like all the estates in their time, has a walled-in-garden which once provided all the requirements of the house. The walls protect the garden from the wind and create a mild and favourable micro climate for vegetables and fruit.

The layout of the garden is, as we discovered over the years, identical with the garden designs in the book “The Victorian Kitchen Garden”. Digging the garden sometimes brings up “witnesses” of a time long gone by: flint stone spear heads, stones with holes, once used for spinning wool fibre and other stone age implements.