Acton of Kilmacurragh

Kilmacurragh lies a few miles south of Glenealy, midway between Rathdrum and Brittas Bay. The property came to the Acton family during the 17th century at the end of which they built the original house of Kilmacurragh (or Westaston). During the 1850s, the forward thinking Tom Acton planted an arboretum that is now in peak condition with an exceptional array of crimson rhododendrons, Irish yews, giant shaggy podocarpus and exceptional pleasure grounds, carpeted in bluebells in the spring, birdsong echoing around the branches of trees from Peru, Tasmania, the Middle East and Indochina. Tom’s brother William was a hero at the battle of Inkerman while another brother Charles Ball-Acton was prominent in India. The death of all three Acton brothers between the Boer War and the First World War spelled an end for the family although the last surviving member of the family, Charles Acton, distinguished himself as one of Ireland’s greatest music critics in the 20th century.

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