The Gardens

At this time the setting of the castle was also transformed. Formal gardens were created with long avenues of trees planted, including oak and ash. Various schemes for at least three fountains were proposed. Other features added to the gardens included an elevated 'leaden' terrace that was constructed in the area where the present Rose Garden is situated. A collection of statuary was ordered, on behalf of Ormond, from John Bonnier the sculptor. The statuary was to be made of 'hard mettle or hardened leaden' and it was to be based on a similar group that stood in the Privy Garden of the Royal Palace of Whitehall. Figures of Diana, the Sabine woman, Hercules, Comodius, and Antonius were to be made full size and mounted on plinths, at a cost of £40 each, also sixteen smaller figures of boys, 21/2 feet in height, at £5 each. Orders were also given for designs for 'emblems...to exemplify the 12 signs (of the Zodiac) and 4 seasons'.

Kilkenny Castle from St. John's Bridge 1698, by F. Place (NGI)