Castletown House


Location: Celbridge, Kildare County

Constructed: 1722 by William Conolly

Tel. 01 628 8252

Bus: 67, 67A from Dublin

Open: mid- March- end- Oct 10am- 6pm Tue- Sun (last admission 1 hour before closing)


Castletown House is a former residence situated in a town of Celbridge, Kildare County in Ireland. Castletown House was build in 1722 by William Conolly, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.


It is an imposing building founded in 1722 by William Conolly (1662-1729), president of the Irish Parliament, and at that time the richest man in the country. The building follows the style of palladianism, and important architects such as Alessandro Galilei, Sir Edward Lovett Pearce and William Chambers participated in the project.Castletown's design is similar to that of Leinster House in Dublin, and both influenced Irish architect James Hoban to build the White House in Washington.

The mansion was inherited by Tom Connolly in 1758 and the interior decoration was then finished by his wife, Lady Louisa (great-granddaughter of Charles II of England) during the years 1760 and 1770.

In the TWENTIETH century, Desmond Guinness purchased the property of the house, avoiding that was demolished.

It currently belongs to the state, and is open to the public.


The Legend of Castletown

Around the Castletown House there is a legend that includes the demon figure. It is said that one night Tom Connolly invited him to dinner.

One afternoon, when Connolly was hunting around, he became friends with a stranger and invited him to dinner. When the guest took off his boots, Connolly saw with horror that he had hooves. He quickly disguised himself and made him sit and wait for dinner, while he ran to fetch the priest. When the good man went to the mansion, he tried to scare the devil away, causing him to break a large mirror of the living room. Scared, the Demon escaped, breaking the home as he came out the chimney.

Today, you can see the broken mirror and the home of the chimena, who suffered the same fate.

Connolly''s Folly
"Connolly's Folly" or "The Obelisk" is an obelisk structure near Castletown House, built in 1739. She was commissioned by Katherine Conolly to honor her husband. It is 42 meters high and decorated with stone shapes. It's the work of architect Richard Castle.

The house as a museum
The interior of the House has two architectural peculiarities: The "Long Gallery" (The Grand Gallery), a huge 25-meter elegantly decorated room; and the impressive main staircase in the hall, made of flying beam and made with the White Portland stone.

To access the entrance to the house you must walk a path, surrounded by trees and green fields, which is about 800 meters from the access to the grounds.

There are guided tours that explain the history of the house, and that teach the facilities.