Learning Opportunities Including School Tours in Blessington, Co. Wicklow

At Russborough there are lots of ways for learners of all ages to engage
with the historic house, landscape and collections 

Russborough is the perfect place for school tours

Located in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, we offer the opportunity to learn about Irish history, architecture, fine art and the natural environment, all in one beautiful setting. Here you can combine learning with fun, interesting activities and the great outdoors. With plenty of space for little ones to let off steam, we’ve put together some great school tours and packages filled with the best features and events that our historic house and parklands have to offer.

Tours for Primary Schools

For children ages 5 to 8 years (€5.00 per child): Tree Trail, Maze, Fairy trail & Playground

For children ages 9 to 12 years (€6.00 per child): Guided House Tour, Maze & Playground

Teachers enter free of charge.

Make sure that you book early by calling +353 (0)45 865239 to avoid disappointment.

Open 1st March to 20th December 7 days a week

The Art Room at Russborough 

with Me and the Moon

At the Art Room at Russborough, we foster creativity through workshops inspired by the spectacular setting of Russborough House & Parklands. All workshops are process-driven, supporting each child in exploring their own imagination and ideas. Creative play and 'happy accidents' are encouraged, meaning children create work unique to themselves. The workshops are a fun day out, and rich learning experience for children of all ages. 

We’re kicking off with a series of monthly pop-up workshops for children and look forward to announcing a wealth of events in the near future.

For full details and booking visit Me and the Moon's website.

Me and the Moon

Adult Education

A guided tour of Russborough is an adventure in fine art and architecture

A tour with an expert guide is an excellent way for you to discover 18th century Irish architecture along with European art from the 17th to the 20th centuries. During your tour you will learn about the building of Russborough by renowned architect Richard Castle for wealthy Dublin brewer Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown and its subsequent owners the Dalys and Sir Alfred and Lady Beit. 

Along with a number of pieces commissioned specially for the house by the 1st Earl of Milltown, more than fifty paintings, very fine furniture, porcelain, and artefacts from the Beit collection are on display. Lovers of architecture, history and art are sure to enjoy Russborough. Just some of the highlights include:

  • Predating 1753, Madame de Pompadour's water spaniel made especially for her in the Vincennes porcelain factory
  • Magnificent Louis XIV tapestries
  • A Scagliola console table top from Vallombrosa, dated 1750
  • A gilt bronze microscope by Gozzi of Parma, dated 1772
  • A fine collection of French clocks
  • Paintings by leading artists including Oudry, Vernet and Gainsborough
  • Magnificent stucco ceilings and plasterwork
Book Your Tour Today

Sir Alfred Beit Research Bursary 2021

An award for postgraduate studies in Fine Arts 

The aim of this biennual bursary is to support postgraduate students carrying on research in the practice and history of the Fine Arts in Ireland. The value of the bursary is €2,000.

One bursary will be awarded and is available to full-time postgraduate students, studying in any third level institution in Ireland. Applications must be made by the individual student. The research context or state of knowledge relating to the proposal must be clearly demonstrated. 

Successful applicants will be required to acknowledge receipt of the bursary, be available for any reasonable publicity that the Foundation considers to be appropriate, and to deliver a seminar at Russborough disseminating the results of their research where requested.

How to apply 
Applicants are required to complete and submit an application form, accompanied by an up to date CV and a written reference from an appropriately qualified person. The deadline for receipt of applications, by email, is Monday 5th of July 2021 at 5.00pm to:

The panel’s decision is final. There is no right of appeal. The bursary is for one year only and not renewable. Successful applicants may not reapply in subsequent years.

The Artists’ Courtyard

Lovers of arts and crafts will enjoy visiting our on-site artisans in their studios in the Courtyards at Russborough. Many of the talented artisans offer their own workshops throughout the year. Visit the Artisan's websites to find out more. 

Along with the headquarters of Cruthú, the West Wicklow Arts Group you will the following artists and makers working, selling, and running workshops at Russborough: 

  • Candlemaker
  • Woodturner
  • Blacksmith 
  • Ceramicist
  • Stonemason
  • Wood Sculptor

About the Alfred Beit Foundation

The Alfred Beit Foundation owns and operates Russborough House and Parklands in County Wicklow, Ireland. In 1978, it opened Russborough to the public for guided tours. The Foundation's primary goal is to promote the advancement of education in the fine arts. More than a million visitors have taken a guided house tour since 1978. 

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