There are so many beautiful castles and stately homes in Ireland that it’s impossible to compare them but you can take a stab at visiting a few this summer. Here are 6 beautiful stately homes more than worthy of a day or overnight visit.
Kilruddery House, Co. Wicklow
Just outside Bray in Co. Wicklow lies the beautiful house and gardens of Kilruddery estate currently run by the 15th Earl and Countess of Meath. You may recognise the house from such films as Far and Away or My Left Foot or perhaps you’ve attended one of the many events held on the grounds such as the Saturday food markets, concerts and sporting events.
Castletown House, Co. Kildare
Built for Ireland’s richest man, at the time, William Conolly in 1722, Castletown House sits proudly on 550 acres. After his death wife Katherine made many improvements and alterations to the property including the must-see 140ft high Conolly Folly. Today it is managed by the Heritage Service and hosts various arts and culture events.
Powerscourt Estate, Co. Wicklow
Powerscourt is one of Wicklow’s most popular attractions with over 64-sq-km. This palladian mansion with its 20 hectares of landscaped gardens has had an interesting history. First built in the 1300s the property changed hands many times and underwent numerous alterations. A fire gutted the building in 1974 but since then it’s gone from strength to strength and now boasts two golf courses and a thriving Hotel. Don’t miss out on the Japanese Gardens and Pet Cemetery when you’re there.
Russborough House, Co. Wicklow
Said to be the longest house in Ireland at 700ft, Rossborough House was built for Joseph Leeson in 1755. The mansion has been home to a magnificent art collection including works by Goya and Vermeer. This collection has been stolen four times, including once by the IRA in 1974 and again by Martin Cahill (The General) in 1984. All have been recovered and some are available for viewing as part of a home tour.
Bantry House, Co. Cork
Belonging to the White family since the 1700s this stately home sits beautifully on the Wild Atlantic Way overlooking Bantry Bay and has always been lived in. Visitors can check out the local bay, markets on in the courtyard and experience the beauty of this house first-hand as it’s open to guests for Bed and Breakfast.
Castlewellan Castle, Co. Down
So castle-like they named it twice. Commissioned in 1856 by William Richard Annesly this Victorian castle could not be situated in a more picturesque spot. At the foot of the Moore Mountains, by a lake, a forest and even has a maze. It’s a truly majestic spot. The castle is now part of the Centre Ministries and is used as a Christian Conference Centre.