Rathfarnham, County Dublin, Ireland
Rathfarnham Castle is situated in the village of Rathfarnham 3 miles south of Dublin.
The castle is a large white four storey Georgian house consisting of a square house with towers at each corner, it is set in formal gardens and on part of the estate visitors can see a Roman Triumphal Arch used as the grand entrance.
The castle is undergoing a huge refurbishment programme but remains open to the public where visitors are able to witness conservation in action. The castle is open from May until October 9.30am to 5.30pm with the tearooms open all year.
Rathfarnham Castle was originally a semi fortified castle built on the site of an earlier Anglo Norman castle in around 1583 for the Lord Chancellor of Ireland and the Archbishop of Dublin, Adam Loftus.
During the confederate wars in the mid 1600’s the castle changed hands many times and it is believed that Oliver Cromwell held council there during his campaign in Ireland. The Loftus family recovered the castle and in 1771 and Henry Loftus was created 1st Earl of Ely. In celebration the family constructed a Triumphal Arch and converted the medieval castle into a Georgian mansion house removing the battlements, enlarging the windows and adding a semi circular extension to the east of the castle.
In 1812 the Loftus family moved to Loftus Hall in Wexford and leased the estate as a diary farm which fell into disrepair. In 1852 is was sold to Francis Blackburne the Lord Chancellor who’s family resided there for three generations.
In 1912 property developers purchased the house and estate and divided into three parts. The Castle was sold to a Jesuit Order, part of the estate was sold for housing and the other part was developed as a golf course.
In 1985 the castle was in line for demolition and was sold to Delaware properties but after public pressure the state took over the building and it became a National Monument.
Legend has it that the ghost of a woman haunts the ballroom. Two suitors decided to incarcerate their loved one behind the ballroom’s wooden paneling; the winner of the duel for her affection would set her free. Unfortunately both of them died and so she remained there for 130 years.
Other Castles in the Area
Aras an Uachtarain, County Dublin
Ashtown Castle, County Dublin
Barberstown Castle, County Kildare
Castletown House, County Kildare
Clontarf Castle, County Dublin
Dublin Castle, County Dublin
Dunsany Castle, County Meath
Howth Castle, County Dublin
Malahide Castle, County Dublin
Manderley Castle, County Dublin
Maynooth Castle, County Kildare
Powerscourt House, County Wicklow
Pucks Castle, County Dublin
Robswall Castle, County Dublin
Russborough House, County Wicklow
Swords Castle, County Dublin
Tulleys Castle, County Dublin
Photograph by AndrewH. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
Rathfarnham Castle was built on the site of an Anglo-Norman castle in the 16th century and extensively modified in the 18th century. Now owned by the Irish State.
Photograph by JP. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
Rathfarnham Castle map