The story goes that Richard Wingfield visited Queen Elizabeth after battle to pay his respects. The Queen said to him: “Well Sir Richard, what is to be your reward?” He bowed, and said “The scarf that Your Majesty wears will be sufficient reward for me.” Upon which the Queen placed the scarf over his shoulder. In addition to the scarf, Richard was knighted, appointed ‘Marshal of Ireland’ and received Powerscourt Estate as his reward. His descendants were to remain at Powerscourt for over 350 years.
This blog article was written by Michael Seery from the Enniskerry History Blog and is re-produced with his kind permission.
The story of the Wingfields at Powerscourt begins with a grant of lands in north Wicklow to Sir Richard Wingfield (1550 – 1634) by Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. Richard was an army officer and adventurer from Sussex who arrived in Ireland during the Tudor conquest, soon after Elizabeth took the throne. He was the nephew of Sir William Fitzwilliam who probably arranged to have him come to Ireland. As well as soldiering on the continent, Richard was involved in the Nine Years’ War in Armagh fighting against the Earl of Tyrone’s Irish forces in 1594. After an injury, he returned to England, where family legend records that Queen Elizabeth, wishing to reward her “faithful and beloved soldier” for his soldiering, asked Sir Richard what he would like as a reward. He replied that “the scarf which Your Majesty wears will be sufficient reward for me.” The portrait of Richard shows him wearing the scarf, but of course, he would soon get a lot more.
In the interest of public safety and the absolute requirement for social distancing, we have decided to close the Estate, including the House, Gardens, River Walk and Waterfall, until further notice.
We have given the situation a great deal of thought and we understand that our visitors will be disappointed by this and we apologise for the inconvenience it may cause, particularly when being outside in nature is beneficial for mental and physical health.
At this time, we all have a social responsibility, including Powerscourt Estate, to minimise any harm to our friends, colleagues, and families. We will be reviewing this situation on an ongoing basis. Please keep an eye on the News Section of our website and social media for updates.
Thank you for your understanding and patience and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Estate before not too long. We hope you and your families are keeping safe.