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Castle Gardens is the most historic open space in Lisburn. It was once the site of Lisburn castle, a 17th Century fortified manor house first built by the Conways, the landlords of Lisburn, in the 1620's. The house and its contents were destroyed by the great fire of Lisburn in 1707 and not rebuilt. The estate continued in the hands of descendants of the Conway family, including Sir Richard Wallace. After his death and that of Lady Wallace, the gardens were gifted in 1903 to Lisburn for use as a public park

The preliminary renovations of the Gardens included archaeological excavations on the site. These uncovered many artefacts and important 17th century garden features including a double flight staircase and a gazebo. Some of the artefacts found in the Gardens can be viewed at Lisburn Museum with displays explaining their historical context and significance.

The top part of the gardens dates from late Victorian times and contains several important scheduled historic monuments, including the 1677 red sandstone gateway, the Wallace drinking fountain and the memorial erected in 1891 to commemorate Lisburn's landlord and great benefactor, Sir Richard Wallace (1818 - 1890). The Gardens also provide a splendid setting for the town's memorial to the First and Second World Wars.

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