The original castle at Rathfarnham dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman, who came to Ireland as chaplain to the Lord Deputy and quickly rose to become Archbishop of Dublin, Lord Chancellor of Ireland and was closely involved in the establishment of Trinity College.
The castle with its four flanker towers is an excellent example of the fortified house in Ireland and recent excavations at the castle have shed new light on the earlier phases of the castle and its occupants. In the late 18th century, the house was remodelled on a splendid scale employing some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. The collection includes family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808).
October – April inclusive
Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10.30am – 5.00pm
Last Admissions 4.15pm
May – September inclusive Daily – 9.30am – 5.30pm
Last admissions 4.45pm