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The original castle at Rathfarnham dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built in 1583 for Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, Lord Chancellor and one of the founders of Trinity College Dublin.
The castle, with its four flanker towers, is an excellent example of the fortified house in Ireland. In the late 18th century, the house was remodelled on a splendid castle. Much of this remodelling took place during the ownership of Henry Loftus, Earl of Ely, who employed some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart.
Visitors to the castle can view these fine interiors and the castle collection which includes family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680) and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808).
Rathfarnham Castle was declared a National Monument in 1986 and since then the Office of Public Works has been undertaking a programme of restoration and conservation. In 2014, excavations at the castle uncovered a treasure trove of 17th century artefacts and a range of structural finds.
These new discoveries have shed new light on the earlier phases of the castle and its occupants. Additional gun loops as old as the castle itself were discovered, a 16th century fire surround, fireplaces and the locations of original doors and windows. Some of these finds have been left uncovered and are on show.
- Lively guided tours of this fantastic building
- 18th century ballroom, designed by Sir William Chambers
- The collection of family portraits
- The Dining Room, Gilt Room and Four Seasons Room
- The Stuart and Chambers tearoom located in the old 18th century kitchen area
Open Year Round
October - April
Wednesday - Sunday & bank Holiday Mondays 10:30 - 17:00
May - September
Daily 09:30 - 17:30
Closed: Mondays and Tuesdays from October to April and from December 24 to 27 & January 1.
Last admission: 45 minutes before closing
Approx. visit duration: 45 to 60 minutes
Senior (aged 65+): €3.00
Student (with valid ID): €2.00
Child (aged 6-18): €2.00
Child (aged 0-5): Free
Other Useful Information
Leaflets and tours in English only.
DINING / REFRESHMENTS
Tearooms on-site serving sandwiches, breakfast, light lunches, cakes and drinks.
Pay car parking on-site. Free coach parking on-site.
Fully wheelchair accessible.
Group rates available (minimum 10 people). Pre-booking required.
Located on the Rathfarnham by-pass right beside Rathfarnham Village. It is 8km from Dublin city centre on the number 16 bus route.Rathfarnham Castle Nearby Attractions