Latest News

To receive an email round-up of the latest news and events, click here to subscribe


nicoandmartin launch Owl Music, an album for night-time…

2015’s Artists-in-Residence nicoandmartin will return to Killruddery on Ocotber 8th to launch their new album Owl Music. Owl Music is a circular nocturne of original instrumental lullaby with interludes of sea, played on double bass, piano, harp, concertina, guitar, shruti and sansula, created by musicians Nico Brown and Martin Brunsden. 

Nico Brown and Martin Brunsden have been playing music together for more than 20 years. Professional performers and composers, their album for families ‘Out Of The Door Of The Ark’, was re-released in 2014.

Owl Music‘ has been 5 years in the making. We have families of our own and we’ve worked with families long enough to know how important bedtime listening nm13is. So we started recording a seamless bedtime concert of instrumental lullaby music for children and their parents.

When it was finished, and we asked friends of all ages for their reactions, we realised it was perhaps an album for children, their parents, and for anyone else who likes gentle listening at the close of day – or at any other time. Andy pointed out we had a nocturne on our hands.

nm10It did put Rosie (7) – and Nancy (5) – and Neal (60) to sleep. Fionnuala says “I listened to Owl Music while giving birth to my daughter Evelyn and found it cocooning, soothing and transformative.”. Meg found it good music to make puppets to. Kristin said it sounded like a story, a hero’s journey. Simon thought it Satiesque. Didier in Brittany said (in French) it was perfect late-night cafe music, and Guy loved the idea of it being for smooching night-birds. Anto suggested a lie-down launch…

Singer-songwriter Lisa Lambe will make a guest appearance at the launch, which Fionnuala & Anthony will be hosting.

Facebook and Twitter: @nicoandmartin

Please be aware that The Tea Room will be closed to the public on Wednesday 7th Septemnber 2016.

The Wagon in the Walled Garden will be open and serving tea, coffee and a limited menu.

Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We thank you for your understanding.

Slide Show Tomato Festival


We hope you are all as excited as we are for this weekends festival of Tomatoes. You can download the programme here!

And if you are entering in some prize specimens please find out more here. 

See you all Sunday.



The month of September is set to begin with a mouthwatering festival that’s fit for foodies and gardeners alike. The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival on Sunday 4th of September is dedicated to all kinds of tomatoes, especially heirloom and open-pollinated, and the wondrous diversity they represent. We aim to bring together a community of tomato growers who are pursuing deliciousness through growing more than just your standard varieties (nice as they are).

The highlight of the festival will be a colourful display of nearly 70 varieties of different sizes, shapes, and colours showing the incredible biodiversity of this humble fruit we so often take for granted. If you are growing unusual types, we encourage you to bring them along on the day, and if you are growing regular tomatoes you can enter our competition. Talks, recipes and even a few history lessons on one of our favourite store cupboard items, round out the day.

Read on for a taste of what the day entails and join our growing tomato community!

Several competitions will be held over the day where tomatoes of various classes and categories will be inspected by a panel of judges. Prizes will be awarded for the best tomato in each category, and there are a couple of interesting ones – such as weirdest or ugliest tomato! If you want to go more unique still, how about creating a tomato-themed costume to be judged?

The festival will also feature discussions and recipe demonstrations. Festival founder Nicky Kyle tells you how to make the most of your tomatoes, Dr. Matthew Jebb gives an informative lesson on the history of the tomato, and Madeleine McKeever will explain how the fruit moved from growing in the wild into warm cosy greenhouses all over the world. Dearbhla Reynolds of The Cultured Club shares the club’s recipe for tomato salsa, Denise Dunne of The Herb Garden will provide tips on growing and caring for basil, and Killruddery’s own Séamus Hogan will demonstrate tomato-based budget recipes.

Aside from our tomato-based fun, some of our friends from our weekly Farm Market will be available for the prefect garnishes to your tomato dishes. We will also be serving Killruddery barbecue, cakes, ice cream and plenty of other treats.

The festival will be open to the public from 11.30am on the day. Normal garden entrance fees apply. Tempted to join in? Visit our website for contest rules and regulations.

We hope we will see you and your tomatoes here,
Fionnuala, Anthony, & The Killruddery Team


Work at Killruddery


Join our team! Join our team!

Killruddery are currently seeking enthusiastic, genuine and friendly people to join our team for a six week contract starting immediately. There are a number of positions available, including baristas, catering staff, kitchen porters and banqueting staff. The right person will be customer service focused, and have a professional manner. The role will involve working midweek, and weekends. Experience is essential for all available positions.

To apply, please email your CV to
Applications close Wednesday 31st of August 2016 at 5pm

Please note that there will be no House Tours on the following dates: Saturday 20th August, Saturday 3rd September, Wednesday 14th September and Saturday 19th September.The House is closed for private events, the Gardens are open as normal.

Please note that there will be no Garden Tour on Sunday 28th August due to The Last of the Summer Fling.

The 1pm tour on Monday 5th and the 3pm tour on Wednesday 7th of September are fully booked.

GArden Rock people on bench WS4 11

April, May and June are, I think, my favourite months. I also find that September and October, when a so called ‘Indian summer’ occasionally appears, can also be special, but that’s another story.

It is very exciting to witness the spring migration of birds in April after the darkness of a drear winter. Spring here was mainly dry but with a biting cold wind from the north most days. Normally our swallows arrive on about 14th April, however I saw the first pair on 8th April and by 14th April another six pairs had arrived. Now we have a full compliment of approximately 30 pairs in our complex of buildings. Because of the cold in May insects, which provide the much needed protein to the migrating birds on their arrival from Africa, were very scarce and this delayed the nest building and laying of eggs. At the time of writing no young swallows have yet flown the nest.

Unfortunately we do not have any summer residents of the other hirondelle families such as House Martins, Sand Martins or Swifts. According to Birdwatch only 1% of modern buildings are suitable for both House Martins and Swifts within the island of Ireland.Black Bird

Our mallard ducks are early nesters but the first hatch appeared later than usual i.e. on 19th April. Ten ducklings on day one were rapidly reduced to three which happily are still surviving and doing well on the Long Ponds in the garden. A further two pairs of mallard hatched onto the Long Ponds but have lost their clutches, so also a pair on the Ace of Clubs pond and the dam. Such is the way with wild life, many are born; only a percentage making it to breeding age. Some good news is that the little grebes on the dam have hatched with three chicks and there is one grebe sitting on a nest in the middle of the left Long Pond. I am not sure she won’t desert the nest as she is too visible to corvids and humans.

The other good news is that there are two pairs of woodpeckers in two separate locations on the Estate still in their nests. Hopefully these will fledge successfully in this month of June. I have also seen two woodcock in separate areas both in breeding plumage. Sadly the resident woodcock population that breed and stay all year on the Estate has diminished compared to 30/40 years ago.

I have not heard a cuckoo this year which I much regret. We used to have two or three pairs on the Little Sugarloaf. The main host for the cuckoo’s eggs were the meadow pipit nests, a ground nesting bird utilising tussocky mountain grasses for its nest. These birds are now very scarce on the Estate due to more movement of farm stock and people.

Rapseed FeildAs regards mammals, our red squirrel population is small but stable. The grey squirrel, of the rat family and not to be confused with the red squirrel, are well culled by our two pairs of buzzards which is good. However our hares are suffering from attacks by the buzzards to their leverets. This is the first year that leverets in the garden area have not been seen. Rabbits do appear to have shown a positive increase but every year myxomatosis appears in August and inflicts casualties on the population.

We have had two dawn chorus expeditions led by Eanna O’Flynn and Justin Ivory. One on 1st May and one on 15th May. The latter one was particularly successful with 33 species of birds observed of which 27 produced good sing song. In particular a spotted flycatcher and a very active black cap. Our thanks to Eanna and Justin for their dedication and enthusiasm of our wildlife at Killruddery.

Jack Meath, June 2016.