The Sodshow, Garden Podcast

Garden Podcast: John Bevan, Head Gardener, Lisselan House, West Cork


On this episode of the garden podcast:

john bevan, lisselan house

Peter Donegan chats with John Bevan, Head Gardener at Lisselan House, Clonakilty in West Cork.

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John was born in Glengariff, but as a younger man spent most of his summers in Garnish Island where his love of plants grew. He went on to study horticulture at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. Post that he started an apprenticeship in the Parks Department in Dublin and then moved back home to Cork when the job as head gardener when it arose about 17 years ago.

To his credit, John designed and built the current Fuchsia garden that exists there at the old enclosed garden. Currently the estate is for sale but still open to the public and part of West Cork Garden Trail.

Lisselan House:

Sited by the banks of the Argideen River, Lisselan was built between 1851 and 1853 by William Bence – Jones and was designed by Lewis Vuliamy. Designed by Sir Thomas Newenham Deane, in the late 1800’s the smoke room wing was added. He also as a by the way designed the lodge at the front gate. In 1929 C.O. Stanley bought the property and in 1946 he added a single storey addition to the hall along the entrance.

Of Lisselan Gardens, it is noted:

Lisselan Gardens in Clonakilty were laid out in Robinsonian style from the early 1850’s.
William Bence-Jones, the owner of the estate, chose a site on a promontory above the river for a French chateau style house, which was designed by Lewis Vuliamy. The Bence-Jones family created 30 acres of gardens which take advantage of the natural features of the West Cork landscape, contours provided by the valley and the Argideen river running through it.


With thanks to West Cork Garden Trail’s Miriam and Bev Cotton for being brilliant.

And also to Maxx Marshall for the music.

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