WELL, WELL, WELL... WHAT A CROWD!
3,000 ATTEND THE OPENING OF WELLS HOUSE
NORTH Wexford's latest tourist attraction drew an estimated 3,000 people to a Victorian Garden Party last Sunday afternoon, as Wells House and Gardens officially reopened to the public.
Cars lined up in both directions on the Wexford road to enter the tree lined drive down to the house. Music and entertainment were enjoyed on a dry afternoon at the extensive grounds to the front and rear of the building.
The striking Victorian house has never been open to the public until now, and guided tours of five rooms on the ground floor were available to a limited number of visitors on the day.
The Wells House grounds closed to the public in 2004, and in its latest reincarnation, owners Uli and Sabine Rosler have set about restoring the grounds according to the 1830 plans by architect Daniel Robertson.
The terrace to the rear has been redesigned according to those plans, and several woodland walks have also been cleared for the public. Work on restoration will continue as funds allow. Much of the work to date has been funded by Wexford Local Development and private funding, and public admission fees will now be used for ongoing work.
Sabine Rosler said the day went way beyond their expectations. 'We were just mesmerised at the number of people that were coming down the Avenue,' she said. 'I really want to thank people for supporting it.'
Guests enjoyed music at the front of the house with Wexford Brass Band, as well as face painting, a stilt walker, ice creams and refreshments. The Little Kitchen coffee shop was also busy, as was the new playground, and the archery and birds of prey on site.
Philip Doyne, a member of the Doyle family who originally owned the house, was also in attendance, inviting people to give their memories of the house through the years. He lived in the house until he was 11, and has donated the drawings of the gardens and some family paintings which now hang in the house once more.
Sabine and Uli thanked everyone who worked so hard in recent months to prepare the house and grounds for reopening, and thanked everyone who helped make the relaunch such a success.