There is a fascinating story about why this castle looks so new…Ashtown Lodge was originally located on this site and in 1978 due to the presence of dry rot it was decided to demolish the 18th-century house. During demolition, a medieval tower house was ‘discovered’ within the structure of the lodge. People who had lived in the lodge had wondered over the years why certain walls were so thick and why a set of stairs was circular. Ashtown Lodge was first used as a residence for the British Under-Secretary and later by The Papal Nuncio between 1921 and 1978. It was also rumored that there was an underground tunnel connecting the lodge to the ‘Aras’ to conduct private meetings. The castle, now fully restored, was dated to around the 1500s but might even be even earlier. The Phoenix Park Visitor Centre is now located next to the castle and houses an exhibition showing the history of the park.