Fota House, the centre piece of the whole Fota Island complex, is a splendid example of Regancy architecture. It was built by the Earl of Barrymore in the 1820’s by Sir Richard Morrison who created here some rooms which are amongst the greatest of this date in ireland. They have been richly fitted out, and contain a collection of irish furniture from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. But of principal interest is the collection of Irish landscape paintings dating from the 1750’s to the 1870’s, which is most comprehensive private collection in existence containing many masterpieces of national importance.


The Arboretum on Fota island is possible the finest in Ireland. The Arboretum’s special quality lies in the size and condition of many tender species which flourish in the mild climate here, but grow indifferently or not at all in the rest of the country. The trees and shrubs come from the temperate and sub-tropical regions or the world. There are particularly good collections from China and Japan, from New Zealand and Australia and from South America (especially Chile). There are also trees from North America and the Himalayas. The unusual species and varieties of coniferous trees are one of the best known aspects of the garden and are world famous. The species are named and there is also a published list of trees and shrubs grown at Fota.

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