A family run organic farm
Mount Briscoe has been farmed to organic standards since 1998, licenced by The Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association (IOFGA). The ancient flower-rich pastures are grazed by cattle to maintain their diversity. Our arable land also supports a rich variety of birds and mammals.
We run a beef suckler herd and produce Hereford weanlings off a grass fed system. Mount Briscoe’s seventh generation farmer Margaret has embraced farming with the same ethos and principles laid down by previous generations.
Margaret continues to farm the beef suckler herd at Mount Briscoe, and has a passion for Irish native & traditional breeds and shows Irish Moiled Cattle and Irish Draught Horses.
Come and enjoy life on the farm! Staying at Mount Briscoe Organic Farm is an unforgettable experience.
Mount Briscoe is a working organic farm and we are greatly helped in our work by WWOOFERS (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) who come from all over the world, for various lengths of time, to help on the farm, learn English and enjoy Irish culture. We offer volunteer and WWOOFing opportunities all year round. Please contact us for further details and availability.
The history of Mount Briscoe
John Briscoe (originally from Crofton Hall in Cumberland) built Scragh (or Srah) Castle near Tullamore in 1588. Scragh Castle, Tullamore’s oldest house is a surviving Offaly tower house which was damaged in the Cromwellian Wars of 1649 – 1652. Mount Briscoe estate originally extended to Scragh Castle and has been in the family since the 16th Century. The present Georgian house, built in the 1830s replaced an abandoned 18th century one. This handsome residence is situated in its own grounds, substantially set back from the road with tooled limestone Palladian style sweeping wall to the driveway.
Mount Briscoe passed down through the generations and after the death of Louis Edgill in April 1950, the task of running the Mount Briscoe lands went to his youngest son, W. H. (Henry) Edgill born in 1936. The Edgill’s were noted to be assiduous farmers and successful breeders of horses and pedigree bulls.
Henry married Elizabeth Payne from Ballymoe, County Galway in 1962, they had two children William and Margaret. The farm is 45ha and is comprised of 16ha of forestry (hardwood plantation) which Henry planted in 1994. Additionally 29ha of permanent pasture and traditional hay meadow contributing to our substantial biodiversity credentials. Henry & Betty ran a beef suckler herd and produced Hereford weanlings off a grass fed system. They chose Hereford as they believe they give you excellent meat quality, easy calving ability, good fertility, adaptability and excellent temperament. Henry retired from active farming in 2012/’13.
Mount Briscoe’s seventh generation farmer Margaret Edgill (daughter of Henry) has embraced farming with the same ethos and principles laid down by previous generations. Margaret returned to the farm in 2013 after a fulfilling career in the festival & event sector, arts and tourism.
Margaret has also undertaken the restoration of a 17th Century School House adjoined to Mount Briscoe. Works commenced in November 2006 and were completed in 2012.
Geography and Landscape
Mount Briscoe is located in the townland of Cavemount, or Mullahglough, which is one of several low hills in North Offaly. As the name indicates, there is a cave on the north side of Cavehill, at Mount Briscoe near Daingean. The cave was believed in Gaelic mythology to be the entrance to the Underworld. Local legend tells of an enormous cavern with an underground lake in Cavehill. Indeed, the name seems to reflect this, because what else could be intended by the name mullach a’locha, the hill of the lake. Mount Briscoe House is situated on the south side of the hill at around the same height as the cave entrance.
Supreme accommodation! A wonderful home and host.
There aren’t enough words to convey our appreciation and love for you Margaret, your family, animals, and this gorgeous home. I’ve never felt more at ease and peaceful in someone else’s home.
We had a wonderful time and discovered new hidden aspects of wonderful Offaly. Wunderbar!!