See & Do

Historic Houses & Castles

Ardgillan Castle and Victorian Gardens

Ardgillan Castle and Demesne is a real hidden gem set in 194 acres of spectacular parklands, woodlands and gardens 20 miles North of Dublin city. It overlooks the Irish Sea with a magnificent view of the Mourne Mountains and Lambay island. The ‘castle’ is a large 18th century country-style house with castellated embellishments. Ardgillan is a sanctuary for many species of animals, mammals and birds.

Originally named ‘Prospect House’ the central section was built by Robert Taylor in 1738, with the west and east wings added in the late 1800s. Ardgillan Castle also houses a permanent exhibition of 17th century ‘Down Survey’ maps of Ireland worked on by chief examiner Thomas Taylor, Robert’s grandfather.

As well as the castle, the demesne features a Walled Garden and colourful Rose Garden. The Walled Garden was originally a Victorian-styled kitchen garden used to supply food and cut flowers to the house. One of the most interesting garden features is the impressive Alcove Wall. This freestanding wall with twenty alcoves is believed to have been originally built for growing the more tender fruit trees. It is thought to have been commissioned as a Famine relief project by the Taylor Family.

Today the demesne is a stunning visitor attraction with a range of facilities including castle tours, garden tours, theatre events, afternoon tea, a café, a fairy trail, children's playground and much more!

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