Balbriggan, County Dublin, Ireland
Ardgillan Castle is set between Skerries and Balbriggan, 20 miles north of Dublin, high on a cliff top overlooking Barnageera Beach and the Irish Sea.
The restored Ardgillan Castle is better described as a large castellated country style house, set in the 200 acre Ardgillan Demense park with open spaces and woodland.
The central section of the castle was built in 1738 and the wings added in the late 1700’s. The grey stone castle is built over three stories; one being a basement, with lawns extending to the south.
The grounds have a Rose garden as well as a walled herb garden and an ice house.
There are guided tours of the ground floor rooms and kitchens, as with many big houses the basement area was used for the kitchen and store rooms with the main living accommodation occupying the other rooms. The former bedrooms are used an exhibition space for the ‘Down Survey’ maps and text.
Ardgillan Castle has its own tearoom and is open year round (except the Christmas Holidays) Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 – 18:00, April to September and until 16:30 from October to March. During July and August the castle is open seven days a week when guided tours of the gardens are also available on Thursday afternoons.
The ‘Down Survey’ (a census involving the mapping ‘down’ of land ownership in Ireland) records that Ardgillan was owned by a wine merchant from Dublin, Robert Usher in 1658.
In 1737 the Reverend Robert Taylor re-built the castle and it remained in the family until 1962 when a German, Heinrick Potts bought the estate. In 1982 Dublin County Council purchased the castle and estate and today it is managed by Fingal Council.
The castle has been used as the setting for summer concerts by artists such as Status Quo, Meatloaf, REM and Moby.
A ghost is said to haunt the bridge at the end of the garden where a woman died waiting for her husband to return from swimming in the sea on night. The tale also claims if you visit the bridge at midnight on Halloween her ghost throws you into the Irish sea to your death.
Other Castles in the Area
Aras an Uachtarain, County Dublin
Ashtown Castle, County Dublin
Athcarne Castle, County Meath
Barmeath Castle, County Louth
Bremore Castle, County Dublin
Castletown House, County Kildare
Clontarf Castle, County Dublin
Dardistown Castle, County Meath
Dublin Castle, County Dublin
Gormanston Castle, County Meath
Howth Castle, County Dublin
Malahide Castle, County Dublin
Monktown Castle, County Meath
Robswall Castle, County Dublin
Swords Castle, County Dublin
Ardgillan Castle, view from North side
Photograph by GsmithEIDW. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
Photograph by Gvjekoslav. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
Ardgillan Castle map