Located in a scenic area on the northeastern coast of Lough Ennel, this haunting estate was built by Richard Cassels in 1740 for its first occupant, the first earl of Belvedere, Robert Rochfort.
Rochfort married a woman named Mary Moleswoth, who disgraced him by carrying on an affair with Rochfort’s younger brother. After she bore his child, Robert placed her in another home owned by the family, where she remained behind locked doors for years, while her husband enjoyed the mansion and spent his time and money feuding with his family.
The result of one feud can still be seen as a castle ruin on the property that Rochfort built to obstruct the view of his neighboring brother’s estate. Other ‘follies’ were built by Rochfort on the property, including one called the Jealous Wall that remains the largest in Ireland.
The main house also served as a hunting and fishing lodge and is now entered using the servant’s door. The interior features lovely rococo plasterwork ceilings with extraordinary cornices and a variety of Palladian and bow windows looking out over spectacular parkland views.
Belvedere House is situated on 160 acres that include woodlands and beautiful gardens, as well as a lake with several islands. Ninian Nevin designed the charming walled garden in 1857. It is renowned across Ireland for its collection of exotic plants. Visitors can ride a tram through the grounds to experience a wealth of natural beauty. The property also features a children’s playground, animal reserve and coffee shop.