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“Really not a Castle, but good”
Review of Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle
Ranked #143 of 632 things to do in County Dublin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ardgillan Castle and Demesne is Ireland's hidden gem. Set in spectacular parklands overlooking the Irish Sea with a magnificent view of the Mourne Mountains. As well as the castle, the demesne features a walled and rose garden both of which present an orderly profusion of colour. Ardgillan Castle and Demesne is situated in North County Dublin on an elevated coastline between Balbriggan and Skerries,32 kilometers north of Dublin City. The demesne is well signposted off the M1. The park consists of 194 acres of rolling open grassland, mixed woodland and gardens, overlooking the Irish Sea with views of Mourne Mountains to the north and Lambay to the south-east. Ardgillan is a sanctuary for many species of animals, mammals and birds for which the wooded areas provide a safe retreat from surrounding agricultural land. Today the demesne is a stunning visitor attraction with a range of facilities the public can avail of, including castle tours, theatre events, afternoon tea, children's parties plus much more!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Really not a Castle, but good”
Reviewed March 29, 2013

The demesne consists of the ancient townlands of Kilmainham, Ardgillan and Baltray. The district was originally controlled by the Gaelic O’Casey family and later the Earl of Tyrconnell. However, the period 1600 – 1700 saw great changes in the pattern of land ownership in Ireland due to the confiscation and redistribution of land after the Cromwellian and Williamite wars (1640’s and 1680’s respectively).
In 1658, the “Down Survey” records that Ardgillan was owned by a wine merchant, Robert Usher of Crumlin, Dublin and by 1737, the property had been acquired by the Reverend Robert Taylor, one of the Headfort Taylors, whose grand-father had collaborated with Sir William Petty on the mid 17th century “Down Survey of Ireland”.

Ardgillan remained the family home of the Taylors (later changed to Taylour) for more than two hundred years and until 1962 when the estate was sold to Heinrich Potts of Westphalia, Germany. In 1982, Dublin County Council purchased Ardgillan Demesne and it is now managed by Ardgillan Castle Ltd. under the auspices of Fingal County Council.
The Castle

Although referred to as a Castle, the residence at Ardgillan is a large country-styled house with castellated embellishments. Originally named “Prospect”, the central section was built in 1738 by Robert Taylor, with the west and east wings added in the late 1700’s.
Initially the site was heavily wooded, the name Ardgillan being derived from the Irish “Ard Choill” meaning High Wood. It was cleared out by service soldiers and itinerant workers in return for one penny a day, sleeping accommodation and one meal.
The house consists of two storeys over a basement which extends out under the lawns on the southern side of the building. When occupied, the ground and first floors were the living accommodations while the west and east wings were servant’s quarters and estate offices.
The basement was the service floor, the kitchen and stores. The Castle has now been restored and the ground floor rooms and kitchens are open to visitors for guided tours. Tea-rooms located off the main reception area and serving light snacks are open in conjunction with the castle opening times.
Upstairs, the former bedrooms are used for classes and exhibitions including a permanent and unique exhibition of the “Down Survey” colour maps and text. Rooms are available for small group meetings and workshops.

Thanks to Fingal County Council for reference!

Even knowing all this, it is still a place worth a visit, the tour is very well worth the money and it has a little surprise in store for you as well (you have to see for yourself). The tea room has good fair and you will not come out disappointed, unless your looking for the Ritz's. while it has central heating it is not modern and more like "Up Stairs Down Stairs" style about it and fits in well. It was really out of season for the herb and rose gardens, but I would like to go back at the right time of year to see it. The play area is a child's delight and as I seen also some adults, so if it was only for that, it is worth a visit.

Thank Critic1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lovely park & playground”
Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

Lovely park for walks and have a coffee. The children's playground is brilliant my lil boy loves it !

1 Thank PB2Dublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skerries, Ireland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Children's Birthday Party”
Reviewed December 23, 2012 via mobile

Thank you so much to all the staff who made my 7 year old daughters birthday a really memorable occasion. The children had an amazing time, I wish I remembered the ladies name who hosted the party, to tell her what an amazing job she did! Thank you so much! And also a special thank you to Peter who managed to get a birthday cake organised last minute when I managed to leave mine at home!
Thank you so much!
I would highly recommend ardgillan castle for anyone looking for a venu for a children's party.

4 Thank LadySineady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Seaview to take your breath away”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I had great pleasure to show off this stunning castle and park to my american visitors. They were absolutely delighted to see such spectacular views of the ocean and really appreciated what a wonderful castle was built on such beautiful parkland, An ideal day out for a family with children as the playground is excellent and the coffee shop located in the castle where you can enjoy lovely food is a treat although a little on the expensive side.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank Anne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
“Ardgillan Holistic Centre”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

As a local, I absolutely love Ardgillan Castle Park and I recommend anyone to visit it. The playground is one of the best in north county Dublin and the scenery is amazing! There are various different walks available and is a popular spot for joggers! There are lovely rose and herb gardens! The coffee shop and castle are equally beautiful and well worth a visit!!!

This "poor" review isn't about Ardgillan park but about the adjoining holistic centre! I was delighted to hear that there was a holistic centre opening up! I bought my mother a Groupon voucher for Reiki a few months ago so that she could try it out! She said the treatment was nice and the therapist was very good. However, she said that the massage table was way too high and there was no stool available! In addition, there was a clock ticking loudly, the CD player started to jump during the treatment and someone walked in disturbing the "tranquility" which is needed for reiki. I am not complaining about the therapist as she did her best and apologised. I was a little disappointed and I usually don't like complaining (trust me) but I wanted to give feedback to the centre manager so that others wouldn't have a bad experience. I rang the following day and left a message with one of the other therapists (who was very polite and listened attentively to my feedback) She informed me that the centre manager would appreciate the feedback. I left my number and I'm still waiting on a call back! I hope the centre does well but I was disappointed that I didn't receive a callback!!!

Visited September 2012
Thank SA32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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