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Discover the Barberstown Castle, which was once an imposing medieval castle that dated to 1288.

Barberstown Castle was constructed when mighty kings and towering castles ruled Europe for centuries following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Barberstown was one of the first Irish country houses to display its splendor to the outside world when it opened as a hotel in 1971. It has maintained the elegance of design over eight centuries by carefully blending its Victorian and Elizabethan extensions with the original castle battlement of 1288. Providing a sophisticated level of comfort that is worthy of its regal grounds, Barberstown Castle effortlessly earns its celebrated reviews and accolades.

Barberstown Castle is surrounded by verdant acres and meticulously maintained gardens, transporting guests through 800 years of history to the end of the 13th century when Nicholas Barby first built the castle on land earlier owned by the Norman family, the Fitzgeralds. The castle itself was built as a fortress to protect the village and people of Barberstown from the attack of Vi Faelain, who tried to burn the town in 1310. It has traditionally found itself in the middle of political struggle and local wars, which has generally resulted in change of ownership. In fact, the walls of this distinct castle slope inwards to prevent an enemy from getting out of range by angling close to the castle’s outer walls.

Pervasive to the culture as the Irish spirit that lingers here, these grounds whisper an intricate and eternal history of battles won and lost, passionate tales penned by Swift of a mayor’s daughter, confiscated ownership with the accession to power of James II of England, and excessive spending forcing ownership turnover, all to maintain the castle’s growing architectural status and purity. Each of its 37 illustrious owners had the foresight to protect its rich heritage and enduring character, including Eric Clapton, who was one of Barberstown’s most recent proprietors.

The most recent owner, Ken Healy, has carefully renovated this prodigious structure from a 10-bedroom guesthouse to a Failte Ireland-approved four-star hotel. Barberstown Castle is also a member of Ireland’s Blue Book of Country House Hotels & Restaurants. The careful attention given to retaining the original personality of this unique historic destination is just another way that Healy maintains its rich historic spirit.

  • About the Location +
    Just beyond the castle’s walls lies the neighboring village of Straffan, named in honor of Saint Straffan, one of the early sixth century Irish missionaries. The castle’s close linkages with the quaint town and people of Straffan were heartily proven when an underground tunnel from the church in Straffan to the castle was found in 1996 during renovations. A “Priest’s Hole” -- originally made to protect the priests of the town during Penal Times -- can also be found in the castle.
  • Famous Historic Guests +
    "Arnold Palmer, winner of 62 PGA Tour titles. Sean Connery, known as the first James Bond, as well as his roles in such films like Murder on the Orient Express and The Hunt for Red October. Bob Dylan, celebrated musician known for such hits as “Blowin’ In the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin.”, Eric Clapton, renowned rock musician who has received 18 Grammy Awards. Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany, who is a celebrated author known for writing The King of Elfland’s Daughter. "