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 Castles of Ireland - Russborough House

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near Blessington, County Wicklow, Ireland

Russborough House is situated near the Blessington Lakes between Blessington and Ballymore Eustace.

The Palladian style house built from local granite has been well preserved keeping all of its original features. The house consists of a seven bay main block with colonnades; at 700 feet the longest in Ireland, and two wings. The house is accessed by a flight of steps flanked by lions and statues from Italy.

The interior of the house is even more outstanding with baroque plasterwork, stucco ceilings, Cuban and San Domingo mahogany woodwork along with Italian marble and polished Kilkenny limestone fireplaces. The house is set in well kept formal gardens reaching out to the estate beyond.

Visits to Russborough House are by guided tour only, but the estate and grounds can be visited independently.

There are many things to do on a visit some of the most popular being a walk to the lake which rewards the visitor with magnificent views to the front of the house, another popular pastime is to get lost in the Beech Hedge maze and for art lovers the Sir Alfred Beit Art Collection with works from Gainsborough, Goya and Rubens.

Russborough House has its own shop and tea room and is open every day during May to September and on Sunday's in April and October between 10am and 6pm.

The house was designed for the 1st Earl of Milltown, Joseph Leeson, by the German architect Richard Cassels and was built between 1741 and 1755.

The house stayed within the Leeson family until the death of the 6th Earl in 1931 when his decedents sold the house to Colonel Daly.

The house was bought by Sir Alfred Beit in 1952 mainly to house his considerable art collection. In 1976 he generously donated both the house and art collection to the state.

The Arts
The art collection at Russborough has been subject to thieves on four occasions in 1974, 1986, 2001 and 2002 but the paintings have always been recovered.

Four paintings by Claude Joseph Vernet were painted for Russborough in the 1750's and have remained there ever since.

Other Castles in the Area
  Aras an Uachtarain, County Dublin
  Ashtown Castle, County Dublin
  Avondale House, County Wicklow
  Barberstown Castle, County Kildare
  Carbury Castle, County Kildare
  Castletown House, County Kildare
  Clontarf Castle, County Dublin
  Dublin Castle, County Dublin
  Kilkea Castle, County Kildare
  Maynooth Castle, County Kildare
  Powerscourt House, County Wicklow
  Rathfarnham Castle, County Dublin
  Tully's Castle, County Dublin

Tully's Castle
Russborough House

Photograph by Ramón. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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