This beautiful building was built in 1776 for Sir John Blaquiere, the Chief Secretary for Ireland. It then became the official residence for this post (which was akin to Prime Minister) and 69 Chief Secretaries lived here from 1776 up until 1922 when Ireland gained its independence. After 1922, The United States of America was one of the first countries to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the new Irish Free State and took over the building as a residence for it’s Ambassador. It was appropriately coincidental that this building was built in 1776, the same year that The United States declared its own Independence. The property has many rooms including a ballroom and a library and the grounds include 62 acres of lawn, orchards and gardens, 3 cottages and a gate lodge. In the 1970s the building was given the name Deerfield by the wife of the then United States ambassador on account of the number of deer who roam in the open parkland around the mansion. It has been periodically suggested that the building should become the residence of the Taoiseach. It remains for the moment, however, the residence of the US Ambassador. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton all stayed there during Irish visits. President Ronald Reagan stayed elsewhere.