Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland
Maynooth Castle is situated in the historical village of Maynooth about 30km west of Dublin. The Castle is at the entrance to the South Campus of the National University of Ireland.
The castle is in ruins. Only the ruins of the keep and the main entrance gateway on the southern side remain. Most of the surrounding curtain walls have now gone. The massive keep is one of the largest of this type in Ireland. The castle now forms an entrance to Maynooth College.
The partly-ruined castle is a tourist attraction, and is open to the public. Guided tours are available, catering for groups of up to 50 visitors on the 40 minute tour. There is an exhibition on the castle history housed in the Keep. From time to time, Maynooth hosts various exhibitions, concerts and lectures.
The castle is open every day from June to September (check with the castle for opening hours). It is also open on Sundays and Bank Holidays in October.
Maynooth Castle was built in the early 13th century, and was the home of the Fitzgerald family (the Earls of Kildare) until 1535. The original keep, built around 1210, was one of the largest in Ireland. The castle was extended and remodeled in 1426 by the sixth Earl of Kildare. The Fitzgeralds extended their lands and influence, and became one of the most powerful families in Ireland. Maynooth Castle became one of the largest and grandest Earl's castles.
In 1535, “Silken Thomas” Fitzgerald rebelled against the English crown. Thomas Fitzgerald marched to Dublin Castle and declared himself an enemy of King Henry VIII. In response, English troops led by William Skeffington attacked the castle, severely damaging it with siege guns. The Castle was captured after a 10 day siege, and the castle defenders were executed. Thomas and several of his relatives were subsequently executed in London. Maynooth Castle became a royal castle and was used by the Lord Deputies of Ireland as a residence. It was granted to the eleventh Earl of Kildare in 1552. Maynooth was taken over by the Confederates in the Rebellion of 1641. After the Civil War the castle was destroyed. The castle was abandoned by and fell into disrepair.
Maynooth was taken over by the State in 1991 and restoration commenced in 2000.
Other Castles in the Area
Aras an Uachtarain, County Dublin
Ashtown Castle, County Dublin
Athcarne Castle, County Meath
Barberstown Castle, County Kildare
Bective Abbey, County Meath
Bellinter House, County Meath
Carbury Castle, County Kildare
Castletown House, County Kildare
Clontarf Castle, County Dublin
Dublin Castle, County Dublin
Dunsany Castle, County Meath
Monktown Castle, County Meath
Rathfarnham Castle, County Dublin
Russborough House, County Wicklow
Swords Castle, County Dublin
Trim Castle, County Meath
Tulleys Castle, County Dublin