The fine, symmetrical architecture of this spectacular Palladian-style mansion has been imitated many times across Ireland over the centuries. Made of clean, white stone, with elegant rows of tall windows, Castletown was built between 1722 and 1729, designed by Italian architect Alessandro Galilei for then-speaker of the Irish House of Commons, William Connolly. Today, it’s beautifully maintained, and the fully restored interior is worth the price of admission. Visitors are free to wander around the surrounding parkland, and a cafe offers tea and cakes should you need a rest. Two interesting follies on the estate were built as make-work for the starving population during the Famine: One is a graceful obelisk, the other an extraordinarily playful barn, created as a slightly crooked inverted funnel, around which winds a stone staircase. Its name, appropriately enough, is the “Wonderful Barn.”
County Kildare› Attraction
Signposted from R403, off main Dublin-Galway rd (N4), Celbridge, Co. Kildare
Our Rating Hours Tours mid-Mar to Oct Tues–Sun 10am–6pm. Tours 10:15 and 11am, noon, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5pm. Grounds 6:30–8pm, year-round Phone 01/628-8252 Prices House: €10 adults; €8 seniors; €5 students and children; €25 families. Free admission to grounds Web site Castletown Other Call ahead to confirm times, as they change frequently
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.