Clontarf, County Dublin, Ireland
Clontarf Castle is situated 2 miles north of Dublin in the suburbs of the city.
The 1830’s building is a mixture of old castle and modern building rolled into one. Built of grey stone and glass with a crenellated tower and the addition of large wings.
Most of the estate and its buildings have been sold, but the castle still has the ornamental gatehouse.
Clontarf Castle is now privately owned and is part of a collection of luxury boutique hotels.
The 111 bedrooms are equipped with modern comforts and even more luxurious are executive rooms with four poster beds. The hotel has three restaurants and bars in traditional castle style surroundings.
The hotel can host civil wedding ceremonies as well as providing facilities for after wedding receptions.
The current castle dates back to 1837, but there was a previous castle on the site in 1172. Built by Hugh de Lacy it was home to the Knights Templar; famous for fighting in the Crusades. The castle passed to the Knights Hospitaller in 1308 and then to Viscount Clontarf; who in turn surrendered the castle to the King.
The secretary of state for Ireland; Sir Geoffrey Fenton, was granted the estate in 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I. Through his descendents the castle passed into the King family from whom the lands were confiscated during the Irish Rebellion in 1641.
The castle then changed hands several times after Cromwells conquest of Ireland, with the Vernon family being the longest inhabitants for over 300 years. In 1933 the castle was sold by the last remaining member of the Vernon family to the Oultons and was sold again in 1952 to pay death duties.
In 1972 the castle was run as a cabaret venue for 25 years until it reopened in 1991 as a four star hotel.
The castle has been host to many famous people especially musicians. Handel in 1742 as a guest of Dorothy Vernon and for whom he wrote ‘Forest Music’. In 1971 the castle was also the subject of a song by Thin Lizzy entitled ‘The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle’ and Dermot O’Brien; a famous accordionist, used the castle for live recordings. The castle was also the subject of a painting by Turner, although wrongly labeled Caltarf Castle. Dana was crowned Queen of Cabaret at Clontarf Castle in 1968 before winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970.
Other Castles in the Area
Aras an Uachtarain, County Dublin
Ardgillan Castle, County Dublin
Ashtown Castle, County Dublin
Castletown House, County Kildare
Dublin Castle, County Dublin
Howth Castle, County Dublin
Malahide Castle, County Dublin
Manderley Castle, County Dublin
Maynooth Castle, County Kildare
Monktown Castle, County Meath
Powerscourt House, County Wicklow
Pucks Castle, County Dublin
Rathfarnham Castle, County Dublin
Robswall Castle, County Dublin
Russborough House, County Wicklow
Swords Castle, County Dublin
Tulleys Castle, County Dublin