Recently we learnt that Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (1909-2004) was in Ardnagashel – as a guest of Ronald and Audrey Kaulback. Another celebrity visitor was ornithologist Sir Peter Markham Scott (1909-1989), the son of the famous explorer. The leading Irish statesman for over half a century Éamonn de Valera came to see the wonderful house and park. He was a friend to Roland Bryce of Garinish Island – son of the founders. The garden island was bequeathed to him and the Irish people.
Noel Streatfeild (1895-1986) the author of many a children’s book, among them the famous “Ballet Shoes” (recent movie with Emma Watson 2007), was friends with Rachel White, the aunt of the recently deceased heir of Bantry House Egerton Shelswell-White. She had met Rachel during the war (working for WVS in WW 2) and as Noel considered her favourite place of all to be Ireland they met on her regular annual visits (Angela Bull: Noel Streatfeild, 1984, p. 232). During (at least) one of those visits she also came to see Ardnagashel .
A recent visit from a celebrity took place in June 2006. Sir Thomas Pakenham (photograph), historian, author and arborist came with a delegation of The Irish Tree Society. They were impressed by the remains of the wonderful arboretum of Ardnagashel and hoped that there would come up some funding to save the place… Instead came the recession and the death of two Irish champion trees.