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Waterford’s Mount Congreve Gardens picks up prestigious Building and Design Award

On Friday, March 8th Mount Congreve Gardens was recognised as winner at the Irish Building and Design Awards (IBDA) in the Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Project of the year category.

The awards ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge was a celebration of the best of Irish building and design around the world, recognising best in class, both nationally and internationally.

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway attended the awards and said, “This is yet more wonderful recognition for the work and vision of Waterford City and County Council, Fáilte Ireland and Mount Congreve Trust, for reinvigorating and breathing life back into ‘one of the great gardens of the world’.

“The gardens, which reopened to the public just over a year ago, have exponentially benefitted the local community and Waterford as a whole.  Visitor numbers have been exceeded in the first year alone, and Waterford Greenway and Waterford Suir Valley Railway, both of which border Mount Congreve Estate have undoubtedly experienced an uplift in visitor numbers too.”

Mount Congreve Gardens was officially opened by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Catherine Martin in March 2023, following a €7.2 million capital investment from the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF), Waterford City and County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Mount Congreve Gardens is currently enjoying considerable national and international attention since the newly refurbished house and gardens opened last year.

It clinched the top title in the Supporting Tourism category at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government awards, the prestigious international travel publication Condé Nast Traveller made specific reference to Mount Congreve Gardens in their ‘Best Place To Go in the UK & Ireland’ 2024 listing, while the New York Times, when including Waterford as the only Irish destination in its ‘52 Places to go in 2024’ list cited the gardens as the place to ‘top off your Greenway adventure’.

Ray Sinnott, Estate Manager with Mount Congreve Gardens was delighted to receive the award along with the Mayor of Waterford City and County and Paul Flynn, Executive Engineer with Waterford City and County Council, saying, “We are truly delighted to receive this IBDA accolade.  The work to bring the estate to such a high international standard has taken many years of commitment, resolve and dedication.  To be recognised by peers makes it even more special for everyone involved.”

The award recognised the transformation of the Mount Congreve Gardens which underwent an extensive renovation which included a carefully designed and constructed retail, café and visitor centre incorporated into the existing courtyard. In addition, improvements to the gardens, its paths and boundaries were carried out to include improved wayfinding, refurbishment of the various garden ‘Follies’ and an audio-visual presentation giving the historic narrative of the house, gardens and owner.



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Paul Flynn Waterford City and County Council, Peter Bluett of Bluett & O’Donoghue Archtitects, Ray Sinnott Mount Congreve, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, Robert Fox of Frank Fox & Associates, Shane McCullough of McCullough Lupton Quinn and Sandra Conway.

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