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Rowallane Garden

A Jewel In Saintfield’s Crown

The National Trust In Saintfield

Many of us in Saintfield know Rowallane Garden very well, and delight in the wonderful woods and gardens a short walk from the Main Street. Some of us perhaps forget what is on our doorstep – or we are so familiar with it that we don’t think about it! It is timely however to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have such an important National Trust property in our village. Bushmills may have the Giant’s Causeway pretty close, but Rowallane is only a short walk from Main Street!

Rowallane numbers:
70,000 visitors last year. Coincidentally the whole of NI has 70,000 NT members!
12 staff, including five gardeners,
30 volunteers working some three hours each a week.
One second-hand bookshop.
One dog exercise field.

SDA and the National Trust, working together

Saintfield village and Rowallane have a lot in common. Saintfield is an historic village, playing an important role in the events of 1798, and well-known for its Georgian buildings and the Main Street with its conservation area status. Rowallane Gardens boasts a Victorian walled garden, courtyard and bell-tower which form popular wedding venues, and unique features such as a bandstand and a water pump! Oh, an a unique collection of plants from around the world from the 19th century period of discovery!
Meeting recently with the SDA, NT Greater Belfast Area Manager Mike Dobson and Head Gardener Averil Milligan made clear their on-going commitment to working with the local community for the mutual benefit of the village and the NT. We look forward to continued engagement with our colleagues in the Garden.

Factoids:
Rowallane means “beautiful clearing”.
The Garden produces its own pottery, soap, and honey.
The stones in the famous beehive cairns are called “baps”.

A rich and diverse location

Famous in its own right for the gardens – featured in season one of the Game of Throne TV series as the “Godswood” – Rowallane regularly hosts a wide range of events for the family. The Halloween events have just taken place and staff are now preparing for the “Festive Family Film Fun” events on the 21st, 22nd 28th and 29th of November – and of course the annual Christmas Yuletide Market on the 12th and 13th of December.

Wood is good for you!
Research shows that spending time in nature helps with anxiety and depression and enhances empathy. The Observer newspaper recently reported that forest walks reduce heart rate and blood pressure and decreases stress.

See something new….every time

The Garden changes continually, and there is always much to see as the trees and borders shift through the seasons. Head Gardener Averil Milligan points to the new paths through the estate, and the funky new pieces of sculpture and art installations in the area between the lake and the bandstand – look out for the Leaf Chair, designed by local students.
All in all, worth seeing, and worth going to see!

This is a selection of photographs taken in Rowallane.