History of the Farmyard

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In the late 1600s, the Bunbury's rented 600 acres of marginal land that was stripped of trees, built Lisnavagh house in 1696 and started to buy the land in the early 1700s.

Captain McClintock Bunbury reformed the Lisnavagh estate in the mid 1800s perhaps partially in response to the devastating impacts of the great famine across Ireland. The FarmYard at Lisnavagh was built as a resilient model farm of the future, where diversity of crops, nurturance of the soil and respect for the hundreds of people that lived and worked on the farm were the main priorities.  

In the 1857 Irish Farmer’s Gazette the farm and farmyard were hailed as a shining example of innovation and renowned for its ethos and building design, which demonstrated that aesthetics, beauty and quality of life were crucial for the wellbeing & sustainability of workers and animals.


Today, Lisnavagh is home to a 200-acre forest, 400 acres of grassland, crops and hedgerows where we aim to support the biodiversity to flourish. Recognising the multitude of modern-day crises that humanity faces on a global scale and building on the legacy left by Captain Bunbury, his great-great-great grandson William & his wife Emily have been working for twenty years to re-establish the FarmYard at Lisnavagh. With this project, we wish to restore the FarmYard as a model for future communities once again.

The intention is for it to become a thriving centre, where people from all over the world can step into an environment and experience first-hand the peace and tranquillity of a pastoral landscape, and a quiet place to rethink personal priorities and explore meaningful possibilities for the future based on the themes of the programme:

1.  Helping people rethink lifestyles
2. Connecting  to the Biodiversity crisis
3.  Ensuring a Fair & Just Transition
4. Understanding the Changing Climate
5. Adapting places to climate change

Nature knows no boundaries. Consequently, the FarmYard Project will link  with other projects in Europe - such as Damanhur, EcoLise and European Permaculture Community.