With over 700 years of history Ashford Castle is now Virtuoso's 'Best Hotel in the World'.


1228 - De Burgo Family

De Burgo Family

Ashford Castle was founded by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O'Connors of Connaught. The de Burgos built several such castles throughout the province, but Ashford in Ireland remained the principal stronghold.


1589 - Sir Richard Bingham

Sir Richard Bingham

After more than three and a half centuries under the de Burgos, Ashford passed into the hands of Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, following a fierce battle against the forces of the de Burgos. A fortified enclave is added within its precincts.


1715 - The Browne Family

The Browne Family

The famous Ashford Estate was established by the Browne family and a fabulous French style ch√Ęteau was added to the architectural splendour of the castle. The double-headed eagles, still visible on the roof, represent the coat of arms of the Brownes.


1852 - Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness

Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness

Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness purchased Ashford and extended the estate to 26,000 acres, building new roads, planting thousands of trees and adding two large Victorian-style extensions.


1868 - Lord Ardilaun Guinness

Lord Ardilaun Guinness

Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness bequeathed Ashford to his son, Lord Ardilaun, an avid gardener who oversaw the development of massive woodlands and rebuilt the entire west wing of the castle.


1915 - First Class Hotel

First Class Hotel

Ashford was retained by the Iveagh Trust on behalf of the Guinness family until it was bought by Noel Huggard in 1939. Huggard established the castle as a first-class hotel renowned for the provision of its country pursuits.


1951 - The Quiet Man

The Quiet Man

The director John Ford came to the West of Ireland to film what would become a movie classic "The Quiet Man". Many of the film stars stayed at Ashford.


1970 - Restoration and Expansion

Restoration and Expansion

Ashford Castle Hotel was bought by John Mulcahy who oversaw its complete restoration and expansion, doubling its size, building the golf course and developing the grounds and gardens.


1985 - Best Hotel in Ireland

Best Hotel in Ireland

A group of Irish American investors purchased Ashford Castle. In the 16 years since, Ashford has been voted not only one of the best hotels in Ireland by the most discerning guidebooks, but also one of the top 50 resort properties in Europe.


2013 - Red Carnation Hotels

Red Carnation Hotels

In May 2013, Ashford Castle was bought by Red Carnation Hotels and began a major refurbishment to bring the castle back to its former glory.


2014 - Further Refurbishment

Further Refurbishment

As part of the new refurbishment Ashford Castle introduced a 30 seat cinema, luxurious billiards room and cigar terrace. In 2014, The Lodge at Ashford Castle was acquired by The Red Carnation Hotel Collection.


2015 - Best Hotel in the World

Best Hotel in the World

In August 2015 Ashford Castle introduced the brand new state-of-the-art Spa, wine tasting tunnels and was voted Virtuoso Best Hotel in the World 2015.

The entire experience was amazing and by far exceeded all of my expectations. I wanted to stay in a castle but I had no idea that I would be treated like a princess! It was truly one of the best travel experiences I have had, and we travel a LOT!

Georgina Springer, NSW, Australia