near Castledermot, County Kildare, Ireland
Kilkea Castle is situated overlooking the Killeshin hills in 100 acres of woodland and gardens, 3 miles from Castledermot in the west of Ireland.
Kilkea Castle is a refurbished grey stone crenellated castle built over four floors with two storey wings and is set in formal medieval gardens.
The castle is now a hotel with an 18 hole golf course. It provides 35 unique guest bedrooms and suites.
The hotel is furnished in traditional style and has its own leisure centre and swimming pool, sauna, steam room and gym as well as a choice of three dining rooms offering contemporary and traditional cuisine along with two bars.
The hotel is able to arrange wedding receptions, for a truly grand affair the wedding couple and party can have exclusive use of the hotel and all its facilities. The hotel caters for up to 200 guests in a choice of reception suites and the hotel's wedding planner can also offer advice on all aspects of the special day. The bridal suite is situated high in one of the castle's turrets with traditional four poster bed and separate living rooms for extra luxury.
The original motte and bailey were built in 1181 by Sir Walter de Riddlesford and through marriage the castle became the family home of the Fitzgerald's for over 700 years.
When the family moved out of the castle to reside at Carton House the castle was leased to a number of different tenants including a Jesuit Order, Thomas Reynolds a silk merchant from Dublin and the 8th Duke of Leinster.
One of the castle's most unusual inhabitants was Gerald the 11th Earl of Kildare. The Earl was sent away to be educated in Europe where he became interested in alchemy. On his return his neighbors believed that he possessed magic powers and gave him the name of the ‘Wizard Earl'.
The Fitzgerald family finally sold the castle in the 1960's when it was transformed into a hotel.
Legend has it that the castle is haunted by the ‘Wizard Earl' who returns every 7th year riding on a white horse.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballymoon Castle, County Carlow
Carlow Castle, County Carlow
Emo Court, County Laois
Leighlinbridge Castle, County Carlow
Rock of Dunamase, County Laois
Russborough House, County Wicklow
White's Castle, County Kildare