Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle
Ardgillan Photo - GsmithEIDW - Wikipedia - lic. under Public Domain

Castle Facts:

Location: Balbriggan, Fingal, Northern Ireland.
Built: 1738.
Condition: Restored.
Ownership / Access: --
Opening times: Check their website for more info.
Price of admission: Check their website for more info.
Notes: Ardgillan Castle is a country house in Balbriggan, Fingal, Ireland. It is set in the 200-acre (0.81 km2) Ardgillan Demesne. Featuring castellated embellishments, the building overlooks Barnageera Beach, the Irish Sea and Balbriggan. The castle consists of two storeys over a basement, which extends under the south lawns. When occupied, the ground and first floors were the living accommodation while the west and east wings were servants quarters and estate offices. The basement was the service floor, the kitchen and stores. The castle has now been restored and is open to visitors. Ardgillan Demesne is also open to visitors, with a mix of woodlands and large grass open spaces. The park contains a walled herb garden, rose garden, Victorian conservatory or glasshouse, tea rooms and an ice house. A children's playground was added in 2006. The previous owner of the land was Robert Usher a wine merchant from Tallaght. When Reverend Robert Taylor bought the land it was quite a wooded area so he employed some out of service soldiers from Bangor Co. Down and paid them 1p and a meal per day as well as bed every night they also received a tot of Irish whiskey from bushmills which was brought in for 2 shilling 2 pence a gallon. The house was built by the Reverend Robert Taylor in 1738. The house remained in the Taylor family until 1962 when the estate was sold to Heir Henrich Potts of Westphalia. In 1982 the estate was sold to Fingal County Council who with the help of Fás renovated the house and it was officially opened to the public in 1992 by then president Mary Robinson.The ghost of a woman was believed to haunt the bridge (known locally as The Lady's Stairs) that exists over the Dublin to Belfast railway line at the end of the property near the Irish sea. It is said that the lady's husband was a frequent swimmer, and when he did not return one night, the lady went to the bridge to await his return. However, her husband had died while swimming, and she stayed at the bridge hopelessly awaiting his return until she herself died. An additional local story claims that if a person were to go to the end of the bridge at midnight on Halloween, the lady's ghost would appear and throw them to their death in the ocean. The bridge was damaged by a truck strike in 2006 and was eventually renovated and reopened in 2007.The ground floor rooms and kitchens of the Castle are open to visitors for guided tours. The tea-rooms are located off the main reception area and are open during the Castle opening times. Upstairs, the former bedrooms are used for classes and exhibitions, including a permanent exhibition of the "Down Survey" colour maps and text. Rooms are also available for small group meetings and workshops. A new Holistic Centre is set in the former Gardener's House at the corner of the Rose Garden offering a range of treatments such as reiki. In 2005 the estate was host to a number of open-air concerts in the summer time. Pop artists who have played here include Moby, REM, Meat Loaf and Status Quo. No more concerts have been held at the venue since and it still remains to be seen if Fingal County Council plans to host any in the future.

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