When Fota House was in its 19th-century heyday, the engine of its activity was the Victorian Working Garden.
This delightful walled garden, with its beautiful orchard, pit houses, and working glasshouses, supplied the house with fruit and vegetables for the enjoyment of residents and guests, thanks to the tireless efforts of its gardeners.
Fresh and Restored Purpose
Fota’s Victorian Working Gardens fell into a state of despair during the 20th century and a huge, award winning restoration project was undertaken by the Irish Heritage Trust to restore it to its former glory.
When you visit Fota’s Victorian Working Garden today, you’ll find it buzzing with activity again, as our enthusiastic staff and dedicated volunteers propagate plants and grow produce for the enjoyment of our visitors and the local community.
Visit the Working Garden
Wander through the Victorian walled garden to enjoy its beauty and chat to our team about its history and the role it played in the story of the great house.
The garden is full of clues about what life was like in days gone by, and you can learn about its history and our award-winning restoration project on a guided Victorian Working Garden tour (pre-booking essential).
Discover the Diversity That Helps Our Gardens Thrive
Some of the beds within the Victorian Working Garden are now planted with pollinator-friendly wildflowers that are popular with bees and butterflies, as well as our visitors!
Fota’s Victorian Working Garden is also the focus of our efforts to grow the sustainability of the Fota Estate. Composting, food production, and the restoration of Fota’s orchard are all helping to create a sustainable future for our gardens and our local community here in East Cork.
Our Orchard’s Apple Inc. Volunteers
The thriving heritage orchard and kitchen garden at Fota House have been revitalised, thanks to help from Apple Inc. employees! The tech giant forged a connection with Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens when its bees were moved to the estate during the company’s Cork site expansion in 2007. The fruitful collaboration means that Apple’s volunteers regularly get to enjoy Fota’s high-quality organic local produce at their Cork headquarters.
Continuing To Thrive
Fota House’s Victorian Working Garden already supports educational and community projects that encourage connection and learning, as well as enjoyment. We plan to grow these initiatives further in the future, while also continuing our conservation efforts so that we can continue to deliver wonderful experiences for our visitors.
The Irish Heritage Trust, is the non-profit organisation responsible for Fota, and the funds raised from your visit, our events, donations, and membership all help to support the Trust’s important work.