Originally built in 1739 for the Dean of Raphoe

Now a must on any Donegal sightseeing trip, Oakfield Park in Oakfield Demesne was built in 1739 for the Dean of Raphoe. It remained in use as a Deanery until 1869, when it was sold to Thomas Butler Stoney. Mr Stoney, who became a Captain in the Donegal Militia, built up the estate by acquiring additional land in Raphoe, including the ruins of the Bishops Palace. When Captain Stoney died in 1912 the house was inherited by his son Cecil who retained it and some land, letting it out during the 1920’s and 30’s.

History, Oakfield ParkAlthough it spent several years lying abandoned, Oakfield Park has largely been owned and occupied by several local families, including the Morrows, Mc Elhinney’s and Pattersons. Oakfield Park was acquired in 1996 by the current owners Sir Gerry and Lady Heather Robinson, who commissioned a major refurbishment and restoration of the house and grounds.

Alterations made during Victorian times and earlier were reversed and where possible the house returned to its original design. Wherever possible, the existing floorboards, stairs and panelling internally were retained and restored. The gardens have matured quickly and to-date more than 40,000 trees have been planted. An international collection of Oaks (Quercus) has been established in recent years.

A Victorian Ram Pump which was installed at Oakfield Park in 1864 is still in operation. It was used to pump water from a nearby stream up to the main house. For any Donegal sightseeing visitors, this pump has been restored and is still in use today, supplying fresh water to the formal ponds in the walled garden.

The Gardens Transformed

In the lower gardens a boggy field was transformed into a large lake, planted with reeds and wild flowers. This is now home to swans and abundant wildlife. A Castle Folly built on the opposite shore provides stunning views.

History, Oakfield Park

From 2002 onwards, thousands of native Irish trees have been planted, to create a lush woodland. Winding through these gardens is over 4.5km of the longest miniature gauge railway in Ireland. The Duchess of Difflin steam engine, with her carriages in the traditional red & cream livery of the “Wee Donegal” and Oakfield’s “Thomas” give pleasure to children and enthusiasts alike during summer weekends.


This park is fabulous! The grounds are very well kept with loads of wildlife! Plenty to see and do! Definitely on the list of things to do in Donegal


8/6/2021 – Tripadvisor

What a fantastic day

I went to Oakfield park with my 4 and 5 year old boys and in their words it was the best day of our holiday ever! From the start we were met with extremely kind and enthusiastic staff members who couldn’t be more helper. My son’s played in the playground and explored all Oakfield had to offer for six hours. It was so clean and well looked after. A hidden gem we will definitely be returning to.


7/7/2021 – TripAdvisor

Great day at Oakfield Park yesterday

Had a wonderful guided tour of the upper gardens (delighted to see 4 acres of wild flowers coming up and wild garlic everywhere) then strolled around the lower gardens later on. Scrap was still with us the last time we were here and his photo by the Faerie Tree is still one of my favourites. Oakfield is more beautiful than I remember and Morholt the Land Giant is amazing! Coffee at Buffers was great and cheap. Something for everyone.

Terence McCann

30/05/2021 – Facebook

Santa Express

By FAR the best Santa experience we have visited. Every part is so well planned and feels so professional. From the train to the grotto to the outdoor entertainment and puppet show. My sons loved every bit of it. We ate at the restaurant and the food was so easy to order and quick. All round a 5* experience.


22/12/2020 – Tripadvisor

Fantastic jewel of a location.

Beautiful gardens and superbly maintained. It is beautifully presented with wonderful facilities and staff. The railway is a gem and so much fun. The restaurant has good value food and great coffee. So much to see in the grounds. Do not miss a visit to Oakfield.

John Hayes

21/08/2021 – Google

Get Your Season Pass

If you visit more than a couple of times a year, this is the best pass you can get. Visit as many times as you like.