Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Barberstown Castle is situated 18 miles from Dublin in the village of Straffan on the east coast of Ireland.
The original crenellated stone castle has had the additions of wings in the Victorian and Elizabethan periods and stands in a courtyard with a fountain in its centre and gardens stretching out over 20 acres.
Barberstown Castle is now a four star county house hotel.
The hotel has 59 bedrooms featuring both Irish and continental antique furniture, some with four poster beds. It also has a Tearoom Reception where guests can enjoy light snacks and drinks and a restaurant serving more substantial meals.
The medieval banqueting hall or outdoor courtyard; with its gothic gazebo, are both popular locations where wedding receptions are hosted. The banqueting hall having beautiful vaulted ceilings, antique gothic furniture and medieval tapestries adoring the walls.
The castle was built in 1288 by Nicholas Barby on land owned by a Norman family called Fitzgerald. It was built to protect the people of Barberstown from the Ui Faelin and other clans who tried to burn down the village.
The castle was confiscated in 1689 by the Earl of Tyrconnel in the name of the King, and was handed over to the Commissioners of the Revenue. They proceeded to rent out the property for the sum £102 per annum to Roger Kelly.
In 1703 the castle and its 335 acres changed hands again, this time it was purchased for £1,033 by Bartholomew Van Homreigh the ex mayor of Dublin. The last wing of the house was added two owners later in the 1830's.
The castle remained a private residence until 1971 when the Huddleston family were forced to sell it due to the rising costs of its upkeep; it was purchased by Norah Devlin and changed into a hotel.
One of the most famous owners is modern times was Eric Clapton who purchased the property in1979 and sold it in 1987 to its current owners.
It is said that the body of one of the previous owners is still interned in the tower of the keep. The lease of the castle would only end when the owners' body was buried under the ground and so his relatives; who did not want to pay an increased rent, left his body on top of the ground.
Other Castles in the Area
Aras an Uachtarain, County Dublin
Ashtown Castle, County Dublin
Carbury Castle, County Kildare
Castletown House, County Kildare
Dublin Castle, County Dublin
Dunsany Castle, County Meath
Maynooth Castle, County Kildare
Rathfarnham Castle, County Dublin
Russborough House, County Wicklow
Swords Castle, County Dublin
Trim Castle, County Meath
Tulleys Castle, County Dublin