Malahide Castle and Gardens is one of the many absolute must-see tourist attractions in Dublin. Parts of the castle date back to the 12th century and the castle itself is one of the oldest castles in all of Ireland. Set on a massive 260-acre site, the castle was built by the Talbot family and was owned by the family for over 800 years. Today, the castle houses a fantastic interactive exhibition area where you can learn all about the history of the Talbot family and the rumoured ghost residents of the castle too! Sounds interesting, right?!
The Talbot family played a significant role in one of Ireland’s most historically renowned battles – the Battle of the Boyne. This was one of the important events to take place in the 17th century and the Talbot family lost 14 of its members in this one great battle. Malahide Castle is home to one of the most famous portraits still in existence of the epic Battle of the Boyne.
Furniture from several ancient periods is still on display in the castle and the tour through the oak room, great hall and several drawing rooms is a real treat. The Great Hall has a distinct 18th and 19th century mix of décor while the oak room features carved panels depicting several scenes from biblical scriptures scenes including Adam and Eve, the Temptation, the Expulsion, and the Sale of Joseph.
Outside of the castle lies 22 acres of ornamental gardens, largely designed and planted during the reign of Lord Milo Talbot. It is believed that there is over 5,000 difference species and varieties of plants in the Malahide Castle gardens. There is even an interactive exhibition for botany enthusiasts, providing a further insight into the history of the gardens and its plants. The beautiful courtyard leading to the Visitor Centre at the Castle is also a stunning feature of the castle and gardens, and is surrounded by intriguing walled gardens.
Among the grounds of the castle lays Malahide Lodge, a beautiful old structure that’s so ornamental that it’s worth the visit alone. Indeed, there are many beautiful architectural structures to note as one walks the many pathways of the castle domain. Other points of interest include the ruins of the old Abbey, the burial ground containing the Talbot family vault, the three-arched bell turret, a mitred head carving and the holy water font.
If you want to visit an Irish tourist attraction that’s steeped in history and has been preserved extraordinarily well since its construction back in the 12th century, Malahide Castle should definitely be on your list of places to visit. How great would it be if you could return from your trip to Ireland with the bragging rights that you visited a real Irish castle? And not just any Irish castle…one of the oldest in the country! Between the castle itself, the demesne and the gardens, you will be able to capture some stunning photographs so come with a blank memory card and a good camera that will do the stunning area justice.