Nestled on the Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford, in barren and austere surroundings, Loftus Hall’s heritage dates back 666 years and 2016 sees Ireland’s most haunted house reveal an exciting and eclectic programme of six events for families, tourists, historians, horticulturists and paranormal enthusiasts.
On Tuesday, March 1st, proprietor of Loftus Hall, Aidan Quigley, unveiled the new programme of Loftus Hall’s 666th Anniversary year events, including an incremental restorative walled garden project launch, the opening of a new interactive Visitors Centre and the Raymond Le Gros Norman Festival.
According to Aidan Quigley, this is a very exciting time for Loftus Hall. Aidan and his family purchased the Hall in 2011 and ever since have been working on reviving and consolidating it as a unique tourist destination.
“The gardens and grounds of the Hall are hugely significant. In the 17th century Henry Loftus took great care in enclosing the gardens to preserve newly planted fruit trees with high stone walls. We plan to progressively restore the five-acre garden in the spirit of the period and aim to plant trees, flowers and shrubs that would have been available to Henry Loftus in the 17th century. Fortunately, the walls are in a reasonable state of repair and some of the original garden ornaments remain on the property.”
Mr. Quigley also revealed the plans for the new Visitor Centre which will open to the public on June 6th. The new centre will give visitors the opportunity to discover more about the fascinating heritage of Loftus Hall. A historical timeline will chart key moments in the hall’s history, such as the invasion by Norman knight Raymond Le Gros, the Redmonds’ Cromwellian battle, and the 4th Marquess of Ely’s extensive renovations in anticipation of a visit by Queen Victoria.
Aidan, who is currently in his final year of a Conservation and Restoration Diploma, is focused on broadening the historical appeal of the area and is working closely with Wexford County Council, The Three Sisters Bid Team and Failte Ireland’s Ireland’s Ancient East initiative to showcase the culture and appeal of Wexford.
“Wexford has a rich and varied offering, it’s coastal and rugged, lush and beautiful, historical and contemporary. By working together with local authorities, tourism providers and neighbouring counties, Wexford and the south east has the potential to become the go-to tourist destination for national and overseas visitors.”
“If we, collectively, can offer an experience that is unique, exciting, fresh and appealing, the region is destined to flourish.”
The six new events taking place in Loftus Hall during its 666th year are the walled garden project launch (March 19th to April 3rd), the historical House Tour launch (April 30th to May 2nd), opening of the Visitors Centre (June 6th), Loftus Hall’s birthday celebrations (July 16th and 17th), The Raymond Le Gros Norman Festival (September 3rd and 4th) and Halloween at the Hall (October 21st to November 6th).
To find out more about Loftus Hall and its 666th Anniversary events visit www.loftushall.ie or call 051 397728.