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athgarvan

Festina Lente Gardens, Bray

Old-Connaught-House2Many of my Christian Brother friends will remember spending a year or two of study at Coláiste Chiaráin in Bray, Co. Wicklow. The building and grounds originally belonged to the aristocratic Plunkett Family from the early 1800s. They established a wonderful Walled Garden on the property on Old Connaught Avenue. The family motto was 'Festina Lente' (Hasten Slowly).

In the 1940s the house and gardens became the property of the Christian Brothers who used it as a school for aspirants to the Congregation. The farm was run as a business at one point, as the Brothers sold carrots, cabbage, potatoes, apples, pears and plums.

In 1972 the Christian Brothers decided to leave Old Connaught, which was then sold off in sections. They sold the Walled Garden and Old Stable Yard to a Mr James Carroll, who closed the gates of the property and locked it. It was left idle for over 20 years. In 1996, Mr Carroll leased the Walled Gardens and farmyard to the Festina Lente Foundation who took on the great task of restoring the gardens.

Old Garden:
old garden 3old garden4
Restored Garden                              
new garden 1new garden 2

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