Florence Court Review
When it comes to Early Irish Georgian houses, there are few as magical as Florence Court. Less known than some showier estates, this three-story Anglo-Irish mansion was built around 1730 for John Cole, father of the first earl of Enniskillen. Topped off about 1760 with its distinctive two flanking colonnaded wings, the central house is adorned with a surfeit of Palladian windows, keystones, and balustrades thanks to, as one architectural historian put it, "the vaingloriousness of a provincial hand." Even more impressive is its bucolically baroque setting, as the Cuilcagh Mountains form a wonderful contrast to the shimmering white-stone facade. Showstoppers in terms of decor are the rococo plasterwork ceilings in the dining room; the Venetian Room; and the famous staircase, all ascribed to Robert West, one of Dublin's most famous stuccadores (plaster workers). For a peek at the "downstairs" world, check out the restored kitchen and other service quarters. You can browse a gift shop and secondhand bookstore; holiday accommodation is available at the Butler's Apartment and Rose Cottage. In July and August children's tours, lasting 30 minutes, cost £2, and they can also enjoy activities based around the third earl's fossil collection.
- Address: 11 km (7 miles) south of Enniskillen on A4 and A32, Enniskillen, BT92 1DB
- Phone: 028/6634–8249
- Cost: £4.50 house, £4.50 grounds
- Hours: Grounds: Nov.–Feb., daily 10–4; Mar.–Oct., daily 10–7. House: Mar. and Oct., weekends 11–5; Apr., daily 11–5; May and Sept., Thurs., Sat., 11–5; June–Aug., daily 11–5
- Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/florence-court
- Location: Florence Court