Oakfield Park was built in 1739 as a Deanery for Raphoe Cathedral. Captain Thomas Butler Stoney bought it from the church in 1869 and turned it into a country estate.The Georgian house was beautifully restored in 1998 by Sir Gerry & Lady Robinson when they moved with their young family to Donegal. The original walled garden was repaired and relaid as a formal garden with deep flower beds, ornate terraces, lawns and ponds. A walled kitchen garden was added later.
Oakfield has a magnificent outlook across mature parkland to the ancient Croaghan mountain beyond. Two of the oldest Chestnut trees are listed in the Heritage Tree register. In 2008 a Nymphaeum was built on an oval lake completing this formal landscape.
In the lower gardens a boggy field was transformed into a large lake, planted with reeds and wild flowers. This is now home to swans and abundant wildlife. A Castle Folly built on the opposite shore provides stunning views. From 2002 onwards, thousands of native Irish trees have been planted, to create a lush woodland. Winding through these gardens is a 4.5km narrow gauge railway. The Duchess of Difflin steam engine, with her carriages in the traditional red & cream livery of the "Wee Donegal" and Oakfield's "Thomas" give pleasure to children and enthusiasts alike during summer weekends.
The gardens are open to the public from May to August. With over 100 acres of breathtaking vistas and walks with sculptures, wildlife and nature to enjoy, Oakfield Park has been called the "the secret jewel of Donegal". Bring your family and a picnic and spend the day in this glorious setting.
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