It was a gentleman named Robert Doyne and his wife and Annette Constantia who made all the design changes to Wells House in the early 1800s, that you see today. They employed the help of renowned architect of that time Daniel Robertson. Robertson was of Scottish decent, born in America but trained and worked in England. Robertson is a curious character of the time, descried as a flamboyant yet hard working gentleman that enjoyed the high life.
Wells House is one of the first projects that he worked on when he came to Ireland. He worked on a lot of other properties in the south east including Powerscourt Co. Wicklow, Wilton Castle and Castleboro on the other side of Enniscorthy and Johnstown Castle just outside Wexford town. He worked for the Doyne family on and off for fourteen years and he designed everything from the house, gardens, window sills down to such detail as the picture frames.
One of the first landscape features that he designed was the Avenue here at Wells House and Gardens. Robertson was influenced by Italian Architecture meaning the gardens here are heavily influenced by geometry and symmetry. Wells House has a very dramatic central avenue that Robertson introduced in the 1840s.
Originally there was a U-shaped avenue which you can still see if you look to your left and right of the main house. The avenue is 550 meters in length from the front door to the entrance at the road and this central axis continues through the house and finishes at a lake that is situated in the woodland at the far side of the house. Unfortunately, the lake has fallen into disrepair, but we hope to undergo restoration of it in the coming years.
Along the avenue on the left-hand side you will find 25 mature Oak trees, 3 Sycamore, 2 Lime, and one beech tree. Amongst them we have a Champion Oak tree. A champion tree is the largest tree of a species. These trees are measured based on the trunk circumference, the height and the average crown spread to give a point value.Our Champion Oak Tree sits in all its spender on the left hand side close to the top of the avenue. If these trees could talk, imagine the stories they could tell; Stories of turmoil and poverty, lazy sunny days and summer harvest evenings, and all of the people and events that have come and gone through Wells house and Gardens during the centuries in which it has stood proudly in the quaint village of Ballyedmond.