Woodstock Estate

The Woodstock Estate is one kilometre outside the village of Inistioge in County Kilkenny, Ireland, on the west bank of the River Nore, which runs past it.

Woodstock House, now a ruin, was for generations the home to the Tighe family. In 1737, the twenty-six-year-old Sir William Fownes inherited the estate and commissioned an elegant mansion, completed in 1745. He hoped to establish himself with the gentry of the area and to impress the 2nd Viscount Duncannon, soon to become the first Earl of Bessborough, whose daughter Elisabeth he planned to marry. Over the next forty-five years, Woodstock was the background to a series of dramas that led to the deaths of William, Elisabeth and their son-in-law William Tighe.

Many gardens and walks were laid out between 1840 and 1900 by another William Tighe and his wife Lady Louisa Lennox. The gardens contain many exotic plants from Asia and South America, including the Monkey Puzzle tree and the Noble Fir tree which form two of the walks in the gardens, as well as specimens of the Coast Redwood.

In 1921, the property was occupied by the Black and Tans and Auxiliaries, which caused much local resentment, and then by troops of the Free State Army, who were withdrawn from the premises during the Irish Civil War, on 1 July 1922. The house, left unguarded, was burnt down the next day, and remains a derelict empty shell, overgrown with vegetation. The grounds are being restored by Kilkenny County Council and are open to the public. In the grounds, near the river, is a shooting lodge called the Red House.

In 1978 the estate hosted the Irish Jamboree, marking seventy years of Scouting in Ireland. The celebrations were attended by almost 10,000 Scouts from around the world and were opened by President Patrick Hillery.