Bit of old 1614 with a bit of new 1790.
If you want to know what it is really like to live in an Irish Castle, head to Ballinlough Castle, one of the very few in Ireland to have belonged to just one family for over 400 years. It is hidden away and, in fact, you would only know it was there if you see the sign for Ballinlough Castle Golf Course, which was founded in 1998, or the small sign on the road for Ballinlough Castle Gardens. This totally understates the castle you are about to enter, which in turn enhances it privacy.
Built in 1614, Ballinlough Castle, just one hour from Dublin Airport, is a house full of contrasts, and what I just love about it is the modern wing, and I use that term 'modern' loosely; it just looks like it is made from marzipan, sculptured by a team of craftsmen that would be hard to find in the 21 century. The newer wing at Ballinlough was added by Sir Hugh O Reilly in about 1790 and is probably attributable to the amateur Thomas Wogan Browne, also responsible for Malahide Castle, the home of Sir Hugh O Reilly's sister, Margaret.
This Irish Castle is in the middle of nowhere with all the charm of old Ireland but, wait for it, just 50 minutes from Dublin Airport. Widely acknowledged as one of the nation's prettiest Irish castles, it is the perfect country retreat available to hire on an exclusive basis. When Sir Hugh O’Reilly changed his name to Nugent around 1800, much of the fortune that came with the change of name was invested in the castle.
Its spectacular lakeside setting and historic grounds offer a tranquil setting for guests to relax and enjoy the spacious estate, woodlands and garden areas. You can fish and swim in the lake and there are nine golf holes on the property, with the first hole only two minutes from the front door. If you are a golfer, what could be better?! Just a little heads up...if you want to know where to catch the pike, Gordon the bulter is the person to ask.
As you step inside you can feel the relaxed Irish charm just surround you; the Nugent family welcome you to their home. The first thing that you feel is the space inside, light airy rooms, decorated to a very high standard. Hanging from the walls peering down are paintings of generals and aristocracy, the plush floral furnishings and dainty tea-set, silverware and box of war medals entirely in keeping with the grand historic Irish home, fit for royalty. The bedrooms look out over they estate; all you can see are trees and countryside and the golf course in the distance.
With a full team of staff that will be there for your every need, and the personal attention and assistance (should you require it) of Lady Nugent, you can hire Ballinlough Castle for groups of up to 18 people throughout the year. The castle has four master bedroom suites with their four poster beds and a further 5 bedrooms, all decorated to a very high standard, fitting to such an impressive castle. This is a classic family retreat, ideal for weddings and a great place to have a week's holiday with family and friends where you can create memories that last for life.
Ballinlough Castle can be rented for €25,000 per week, for fully catered accommodation. Contact us for shorter lets.
Ballinlough offers a very personal experience; you may arrive as a stranger, but you leave as a friend. You will back for sure!