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Barberstown Castle

History: 
    Barberstown Castle
 in Straffan

History

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 generally resulted in change of ownership. In fact, the walls of this distinct castle slope inwards so as to prevent an enemy from getting out of range by angling close to the castle’s outer walls. 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 A “Priest’s Hole” -- originally made to protect the priests of the town during Penal Times -- can also be found in the castle.

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 owners.

Lately, proprietor Ken Healy has carefully renovated this prodigious property from a 10 bedroom guesthouse to a 55 guestroom, Failte Ireland approved, four-star hotel and a member of Ireland’s Blue Book of Country House Hotels & Restaurants, with each building acquiring an individuality entirely of its own from one of the four important periods in Irish history in which it was built. This careful attention given to retaining the original castle features, character, style, and personality of this unique property is just another way that Healy maintains this abiding legacy of generous hospitality and historic spirit of this premier luxury castle hotel.

Barberstown Castle, a charter member of Historic Hotels Worldwide since 2011, dates back to 1288.


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International Numbers

Austria 08000706176
Belgium 080081830
France 805542721
Germany 8007241217
Ireland 1800995320
Italy 800979444
Netherlands 08000200956
Norway 80054304
Spain 900814719
Switzerland 0800001798
UK 8009179622
Book by Phone: +1 866 670 3764
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