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Moira Castle (also known as Moira Demesne)


A 17th-century demesne, the house having been demolished in 1870.

Once a noted garden. In the late 17th century this was the site of the first hothouse in Ireland to house a collection of plants from Jamaica. There are traces of canals and ponds. A new lime avenue denotes the former axial planting.

Sir Arthur Rawdon was called the 'Father of Irish Gardening' and was also known as 'The Cock of the North'. He was a contemporary of Sir Hans Sloane, and was a great botanist. Sloane had a great influence on Sir Arthur's horticultural tastes.

The gardens housed ponds, canals, woods and a pretty labyrinth. There were a varied number of trees which included the Locust of Virginia, a tree 30ft high with a truck at least a foot and a half in diameter.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


028 9056 9615

Access contact details



In the centre of Moira.


Lisburn Borough Council

In 1687 Sloane went to the West Indies and kept up a correspondence with Sir Arthur keeping him informed of the various seeds and plant life there. He studied the natural history of the islands and later brought home to England at least 800 different species and plants.

In 1690, Rawdon went to England and, after seeing Sloane's plants, he wrote asking him for seeds. A month later he received 400 different species with instructions on how to grow them. At this time Rawdon engaged James Harlow to go to Jamaica to bring back plants for Moira.

Features & Designations


  • Environment and Heritage Service of Northern Ireland Heritage Gardens Inventory

  • Reference: D 34


  • Tree Avenue
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


Part: ground/below ground level remains

Open to the public