Castletown House & Parklands
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Celbridge, Kildare, Republic of Ireland
Ireland's most significant Palladian-style country house, Castletown, sits on extensive 18th-century parklands. This beautiful Palladian mansion is located in Celbridge, County Kildare.
Castletown House is a magnificent Palladian-style mansion, set in Celbridge, County Kildare. It features the unique Print Room, Long Gallery and magnificent Portland stone staircase in the main hall.
Castletown House was built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly, speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland. The façade was almost certainly designed by the Italian architect Alessandro Galilei, while the Irish architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce added the wings. Considerable efforts were made and resources to maintaining the house and restoring the principal rooms.
The house is set amongst beautiful, 18th-century parklands, with river walks, a temple and the remains of the Bathing House. In the 19th century, efforts were concentrated on the immediate environs of the house, with the creation of a formal garden behind the house, and the planting of the yew trees in front of the house. The break up of the estate in the 1960s, however, meant that the immense walled gardens, formerly situated to the north-west of the house have been built upon. These kitchen gardens were by the early 20th century the most profitable aspect of the estate, and a great source of local employment. Today only the farmyard beyond the west wing remains. In 1994 the house with the exception of the contents, was transferred to State care and it is now managed by the Office of Public Works.
Access to the house by Guided Tour only. Tours of the house are at 10.15, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm. A guided tour of the house will take an hour and it covers the history, from 1722, when building commenced, right up to the present day.