This Little St Cloud

‘I went on Friday last to receive you remainders of rents in the county of Wicklow and lay at Killruddery two nights…Capt. Ed Brabazon has and will make great improvements there, the park for his colts is long time since finished and he is making also a deer park and decoy. The decoy will be the finest in the kingdom or I believe in the 3 kingdoms. The pond is already made and the reed wall is making, round a out which he will built a wall at so great a distance that the fowl shall not be frightened thereat, the south and north ends of which wall shall without and against the other two…a dry wall. Against the south wall without and against the north wall within he will plant fruit of all sorts and will make a treble ditch without the south wall and quickset the fen to the end that the deer may not get to the fruit and that the park may be completed.’
Letter from Oliver Cheyney, agent to the third Earl of Meath, 1682.

‘Killruddery…being a large house with four flankers and terraces, and a new summer-house built by the said earl…with pleasure garden, cherry garden, kitchen garden, wilderness, gravel walks, and a bowling green, all walled about and well planted with fruit trees, with several canals or fish-ponds, well stored with carp and trench…’
From a report in The Dublin Intelligence, April 1711.

‘The demesne of Kilruddery [sic] occupies a narrow valley, which separates the mountain termed the Smaller Sugarloaf from the promontory called Bray Head, and is marked by many circumstances of great natural beauty. The grounds are laid out in a manner peculiarly adapted to the character of the present building, and present nearly a unique instance in this country of the old Dutch style of gardening. From the natural grandeur of the surrounding country, the formality of this mode stands revealed with peculiar distinctness. The enclosing mountains rise boldly and at once, with all their brilliancy of purple and brown colouring, above the long avenues of stately elms, the close cut yew hedges, and regular terraces of this little St Cloud.’
From The Beauties of Ireland by James Norris Brewer, 1825.


10 comments on “This Little St Cloud

  1. liam mansfield says:

    Beautiful photos Robert.

  2. Charles Carroll says:

    Very good, Robert !…..I’m quite interested in duck decoys and have a few books on them, they were a fascinating commercial adjunct to 17th and 18th century landscapes… this county there were decoys at Beaulieu, Collon, Lisrenny and in Meath, at Mountainstown. The great expert and author of the most famous book on Decoys was the Irish baronet, Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey…..also author of The Fowler in Ireland…..all useless but interesting information ! (The only decoy still extant is at Boarstall in England, run by WAGBI….I hope to make a visit sometime) best wishes charles

    Sent from my iPad


  3. lawrieweed says:


  4. Brewer’s description is beautifully cadenced, almost like poetry, evoking the beauty of a landscape through the rhythm of language.

  5. FYI – the Statue of Winged Victory by Christian Daniel Rauch – for more info see –

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