About Lisnavagh

A photo of Lisnavagh House at night

Lisnavagh House is available for private hire, bespoke weddings, retreats, corporate outings and business retreats and hosts annual community and social events. Also available to guests are short term rental of our self catering cottages and The Stables Courtyard on the grounds.

The name “Lisnavagh” is believed to come from the Irish Lios na BhFea, which means garden or enclosure of trees. Situated near Rathvilly in the north of Co Carlow, Lisnavagh has been in the Bunbury family since they first rented the land, 11 generations ago, in 1676 from the Earl of Arran. They built the first Lisnavagh House in 1696 and then bought the land in 1708.

Lisnavagh is a Victorian Gothic country house set in ten acres of pleasure grounds. There’s this feeling of grandeur as you sweep up the drive to the house. My favourite aspect of the garden has to be the spectacular Irish Yew Walk.

— The Holiday Magazine

Lisnavagh Estate

The 600 acre Estate includes Lisnavagh House, several cottages, superb grazing and tillage land. There are 200 acres of mainly hardwood woodland playing host to Beech, Oak, Ash and many other woodland species, allowing a healthy biodiversity of flora and wildlife to thrive. This well-managed woodland offers suitable logs to the Lisnavagh Timber Project for the crafting of uniquely traceable Bunbury Boards and other wooden products.

The Farm at Lisnavagh

Feeding time for the Lisnavagh piggies

The Bunburys started farming at Lisnavagh in 1676 when they rented the land from the Earl of Arran (a brother of the 2nd Duke of Ormonde). In 1696, they erected a farmhouse and farm buildings. In February 1708, Benjamin Bunbury purchased the title to Lisnavagh for his son William Bunbury.

Although there were plans to build a new house at Lisnavagh in 1778, it was not until 1847 that work began to replace the existing farmhouse & farm buildings. The new house that was built is Lisnavagh House as it stands today, although it was originally much larger.

The Farmyard

The brand new set of cut stone granite & slate farm buildings was constructed about 1 km south east of the “new house” and was probably completed during the 1850s.

An article published in 1897 in Bailly’s Magazine of Sports & Pastimes mentions: “…the magnificent farm buildings at Lisnavagh in stone, on four sides of a square, with water in a huge circular basin in the middle, and which are probably the finest in Leinster. They stand on what the late Mr. William Johnson of Prumplestown, the agent, used to remember as a bog, for he had shot snipe on it when a young man.”

As a model farmyard, the buildings served the farm extremely well for many years and were constantly being adapted to suit more and more modern farming methods, although the basic structure is more-or-less exactly as they were built over 150 years ago.