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Pebble mosaic restoration. Powerscourt Estate. Co. Wicklow

Back in 2016 I was commissioned to restore the large pebble mosaics staircases and terraces at the famous Powerscourt Estate, Co. Wicklow.

Wicklow's most visited attraction, Powerscourt Estate is this magnificent 64-sq-km estate, on the edge of Enniskerry village. The estate has existed more or less since 1300, when the LePoer (later anglicised to Power) family built themselves a castle here. The property changed Anglo-Norman hands a few times before coming into the possession of Richard Wingfield, newly appointed Marshall of Ireland, in 1603. His descendants were to live here for the next 350 years. In 1730 the Georgian wunderkind Richard Cassels (or Castle) was given the job of building a 68-room Palladian-style mansion around the core of the old castle. He finished the job in 1741, but an extra storey was added in 1787 and other alterations were made in the 19th century.

The 20-hectare landscaped gardens are the star attraction, originally laid out in the 1740s but redesigned in the 19th century by gardener Daniel Robinson. Robinson was one of the foremost horticulturalists of his day.

While the house itself is quite impressive, it is the gardens that are quite spectacular and I have visited them many times over the years. In fact the gardens were voted 3rd best gardens in the world, by National Geographic.

I have marvelled at these mosaic terraces in the past and despaired at their poor state of disrepair. So in Early 2016 I was delighted to be contacted by the estate to restore some of the mosaics on the estate.

Built in the late 1800’s this huge mosaic pavement and staircases have taken a lot of traffic from the large number of tourists that visit the gardens.

Over the next two summers I carefully repaired the 425m2 of pebble mosaic.

In some cases when areas where 100’s of years of bad repairs meant I was forced to completely rebuild sections of the mosaics.

It is wonderful to see that the current owners of the Estate are very passionate and committed to restoring the gardens to their former glory. And I commend them on the work they have already done and the great crafts people they have employed to carry out the works.

If you have never been to the gardens, I highly recommend a visit.

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