Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham. County Dublin     1585

Rathfarnham Castle was built in 1585 by Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh. Loftus was described as an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman who later became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In the late eighteenth 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. Chambers designed Buckingham Palace, Kew Gardens, St James’s Palace, Trinity University, and Casino Marino while Stuart is best known for his pioneering role in Neoclassicism in the mid 1700’s. Rathfarnham also has an extensive collection of family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808). This site is steeped in history and had previously been the site of an Iron Age fort. This national monument is one of the finest examples of what is described as a ‘fortified manor house’ in Ireland. Rathfarnham Castle was for a long time used as a private house and ended up being a Jesuit College before it was taken under the care of the Office of Public Works.