Hilton Park Clones, Co. Monaghan
The Georgina Campbell 2011 Award for the glorious Hilton Park.
Hilton Park is one of Ireland’s great surviving houses. Located less than two hours drive from both Dublin and Belfast amidst the unspoilt rolling hills of the Monaghan/ Fermanagh border, the house itself is set majestically within five hundred acres of woodland, gardens and lakes.
The vast appearance of the house is suffused by the lush gardens and stunning landscape. The house combines luxurious old world interiors with the charm of a three hundred year old family home, where every object has a story. Three generations of Maddens play host as well as their discreet and friendly staff, combining their talents to offer guests a genuinely authentic experience. Nature and food are our passion and menus are crafted from the produce grown in the kitchen and herb gardens as well as using the best of local suppliers.
There are three stunning reception rooms, enough books to fill a library and an Erard Grand Piano. The house is full of idiosyncratic items and memorabilia. In the atmospheric dining room overlooking Hilton Lough, guests can dine intimately or around the main table ‘House Party Style’. The bedrooms, three of which are four poster, have vast eight foot windows with stunning views and bathrooms with claw footed antique baths.
On the estate there are two lakes for fishing, a rowing boat and kayak, a lakeside summer house and a hidden private shore for swimming. There are bikes to explore the estate, a croquet lawn and complimentary golf at the nearby 18 hole Clones Golf Club. In the house there is a table tennis table and play room for children.
Hilton is a good base from which to explore Northern Ireland and the wild Northwest coast. Neighbouring Fermanagh has three National Trust properties as well as the Marble Arch Caves and the historic Island town of Enniskillen. World renowned trout fishing is available in the nearby Bunnoe River and on Lough Sheelin as well as on the estate itself.
This estate in County Monaghan has been owned by the Madden family since 1734 and the Georgian house was greatly expanded after a fire in the 19th century, when the ground surrounding the basement was removed and levelled, turning the ground floor into a piano nobile. The house was encased with cut Dungannon stone and given a porte cochère, a correct classical portico with a giant order of Corinthian columns, and a balustrade at the roof level. Today Hilton Park still contains many of its original features, furniture and paintings and a wonderful collection of family memorabilia, but the real glory is the wonderful variety of views from the windows over the 500 acre demesne with its mature woodland clumps, the pleasure grounds, the lake and the parterre designed by Ninian Niven.
Hilton is ideal for an exclusive house party for a group of friends or family or just as a break away a la deux. It is also a stunning setting for both small or large weddings.