Russborough House and Parklands Blessington, Co. Wicklow Wicklow Castles/Gardens Wicklow Castles/Gardens Heritage/Visitor Centre at Russborough House and Parklands

Russborough House and Parklands

The building of Russborough House commenced in 1741 and took almost 10 years to complete. Designed by the German Architect Richard Cassels, it has the longest façade of any house in Ireland.

It is a stunning Palladian Mansion which houses one of the most impressive private art collections in Ireland including Gainsborough, Singer Sargent & van Ostade . The paintings, tapestries, fine furniture, porcelain, and marvellous plasterwork may be viewed by taking a guided house tour.

The Exhibition Centre, opened in 2014, offers a fascinating insight into the history, lives and stories of Russborough and its owners from the 18th century to the present day.

sponsored by NISSAN

SEPTEMBER 9TH 2018, 11AM- 4PM.


‘Gourmet food, prosecco on the lawn and affordable art for sale by the very best of Ireland’s contemporary artists, a must-visit event for budding collectors’
An art event like no other! This creative concept is an art world mash-up of the car boot sale with the contemporary art fair. The very best of Ireland’s contemporary artists sell affordable artworks and collectibles or do performative activities such as portrait sketches at a fraction of the cost of their main art practice. 

Participating artists include Vera Klute ARHA, Alan Phelan, Sarah Walker, Bennie Reilly, Gabhann Dunne, PJ Lynch, Gillian Lawler, Blaise Smith RHA, Joe Dunne RHA, Helen Blake and many, many more. Small original works by these artists fetch hundreds or thousands of euro but at this art fair, budding collectors can buy something fun and affordable made just for this event or at the event.  Get in early to have your portrait sketched by Children’s Laureate P J Lynch, Hennessy Portrait award winner Vera Klute or Women on Walls portraitist, Blaise Smith. The National Print Museum will be there with their outreach van customising prints and running workshops.

Each artist will design a ‘boot’h’ exhibition, an installation or experience from the boot of their car – with a cash prize for the best display, who knows what Ireland’s best and brightest artists will come up with. The Art Car Boot Fair will take place on the majestic Carriage Sweep at the front of Russborough House in Blessington, Co Wicklow. Russborough has a long association with Fine Art in Ireland and is home to the extensive Beit collection of art and antiques, as well as donated collections to the Milltown and Beit wings of The National Gallery

Examples of artists exhibiting include Hennessy Portrait Prize winner Vera Klute who has a well-known practice in painting and sculpture. In her spare time, she has been making and firing porcelain teacups and saucers. Beautifully decorated in her signature style, these exclusive collectibles will make up her stall on the day and she will also be available for a limited number of portrait sketches drawn from life. Blaise Smith RHA is a well-known painter who once worked in the Computer Science Department in Trinity. He has a fascination with computers and has been experimenting for the last few months with a drawing bot that produces one-off drawings in a variety of media. For fun, he has also designed and manufactured a small edition of Artist’s Clocks to sell on the day. 

About the sponsor – a brand aligned with creativity, innovation, and accessibility, Nissan Ireland are the event partner for the Art Car Boot Fair. Their history of support for contemporary art in Ireland began in 1997 with the Nissan Art Project at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, a prize designed to give artists the opportunity to realise major new temporary works for the public domain. The Art Car Boot Fair brings some of Ireland’s most exciting and creative contemporary artist directly to their audience, moving art of the museum and into the community.

Bringing art and audience together in a relatable environment.

For more information or to arrange an artist interview about their proposed participation on the day, contact Teresa Crowley,, mobile 087 169 4179.

Sir Alfred set up the Alfred Beit Foundation in 1978, opened the house to the general public and haded this historic mansion, it’s estate & their art collection to the trustees of the foundation to take care of it for future years.

Today Russborough is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East.  People from all over the world take the guided house tour  & historic exhibition.  

There is a restaurant and Gift shop located in the building, all open 7 days a week. Outside in the Parklands they have a Maze, Playground, Fairy trail and tree trail.

The RHSI 18th century walled garden is available for pre booked groups throughout the season and for Individuals on Wednesday & Saturday afternoons.  During the summer the Walled garden will have longer opening days.

There is a 2 km Audio walking tour around the Demesne.  They have Podcatchers available in English, German, French, Italian & Spanish.

Tours times of the house will vary from season to season so please check their website for details of tour times.

Russborough House and Parklands Opening Times

  • 1st March to 20th December 10am to 6pm
  • Check website for tour times of house.

Admission charges

House tour  

  • Adult €12
  • Senior & Student €9
  • Child €6
  • Children under 5 years free of charge
  • Family €30 for 2 Adults & 4 children and includes the Maze also

The Parklands

Outdoor Family ticket €15, comprising Maze, Fairy trail, tree trail and Playground.  Children under 5 years free of charge. 

Also on the ground is the National Bird of Prey Centre.  There is an additional admission charge for this facility.  

There is a 2 km Audio walking tour of the Demesne, available in 5 Languages.

East & West Courtyard

The many Artisans are housed in both courtyards and it is well worth visiting them to see their work.

Location: 20 km south of Dublin off the N81 and 4 km outside Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

Contact Russborough House and Parklands

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