Re-rooting our past in the future: Castlewellan Historic Demesne

Re-rooting our past in the future: Castlewellan Historic Demesne

Panoramic view of Castlewellan Forest Park, with lake and castle visible on the hill

Heritage Grants

Date awarded
Local Authority
Newry, Mourne and Down
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
Award Given
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have been awarded a £2.69million National Lottery grant to protect and rejuvenate Castlewellan Forest Park in County Down, Northern Ireland.

This four year project will attract more visitors to the park and provide opportunities for a wide range of people to learn about its history. 

Formerly owned by the Annesley family, Castlewellan Forest Park is steeped in natural and built heritage dating back to 1740s. It is integral to the community's health and wellbeing, offering visitors outdoor activities including cycling, horse riding, fishing, canoeing and orienteering. 

The arboretum will celebrate its unique biodiversity and inspire visitors to care for nature.  

A key part of the project will be restoring the arboretum, which sits at the heart of the walled Annesley garden. The arboretum is home to one of the most significant collection of trees and shrubs on the island of Ireland. The project will uncover how trees were planted throughout the park's history and celebrate its unique biodiversity.

Trees and shrubs in the walled garden at Castlewellan Forest park

The Grange and courtyards at the heart of the park will also be transformed. The creation of a new café and community centre will provide opportunities for activities, events, environmental education and skills development.

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