Castletown House and Gardens - Celbridge
Castletown House and Gardens is where you will find Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house. Located in a country estate of 120 acres, in Celbridge, County Kildare. It was constructed between 1722 and 1729 for William Connolly, the wealthiest commoner in Ireland at this time, and an important political figure. It stayed in his family until 1965 when it was purchased by a property developer, thankfully the house and grounds were saved in 1967. In the same year the house was opened to the public and restoration work commenced. Ownership eventually passed to State care in 1994 with a view to preserving this important architectural heritage for future generations.
Awaiting you today at this wonderful house is a sympathecially restored house that is historically authentic of this bygone era. It encompasses three floors, and has an extraordinary level of decoration, intricate plasterwork and a fabulous collection of art, fine furniture and stunning chandeliers, it is provides a real insight into the wealth of this time. The bedrooms are less decorated than the main living rooms but , accurately demonstrate how the occupants would have lived.
There are guided tours of the house available, that cover the intriguging history of the house from 1722 to present day. The experienced guides are full of enthusiasm and so knowledgeable, they provide an excellent tour. You can also just walk around the house and there is an audio guide availabble in English, there are multi-lingual leaflets available too.
The grounds are lovely and pleasnt to walk around. They have been recently restored to 18th century designed parklands which, would have comprised of formally laid out landscapes in the Baroque style. There are lovely river walks, as well as a temple and the remains of a bathing house on the grounds.
Located in the restored 18th century Kitchen Wing is the Courtyard Cafe, it is cosy and charming and reasonably priced.
Castletown House is open from March through to October, from 10.00am. The parklands are open throughout the year. Regular craft fairs are held here, accompained by live music, in addition to famer markets nad many other events.