Johnstown Castle

Johnstown Castle

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Johnstown Castle

Johnstown Castle is located on the Johnstown Castle Estate, a 150 acres (61 ha) estate, located off the road between Murntown and Rathaspeck, 5.5 km (3.4 mi) southwest of Wexford town. The first castle built on the estate was a tower house built in the late 12th century by the Esmonde family, Normans who came to southeast Ireland from Lincolnshire in the 1170s after the Norman invasion of Ireland (1169). They also built a tower house, which still stands, at Rathlannan immediately to the south.

Daniel Robertson designed the Gothic Revival castle and parts of the surrounding land. By 1863, the demesne was divided in two, with a deer park in the north and the castle, pleasure grounds, farm and two artificial lakes to the south. By 1836–1872 the building was finished.

In 1945, Maurice Victor Lakin gave the estate to the Irish state in lieu of taxes. It was taken over by Teagasc and used for agricultural research, while the castle was used for offices and laboratories before opening to the public in 2019. Peter Pearson of the Irish Heritage Trust worked on conserving and restoring the building.

Johnstown Castle is listed as a Gothic Revival castle of 4 storeys. Interior goods include the “Apostles’ Hall”, with wood carvings of saints, as well as oil paintings, carved oak hall benches, mahogany billiard tables, dressing tables, upholstered sofas, fire grates and brass fenders.

A servants’ tunnel, 86 metres (282 ft) in length, runs from the meat house to the kitchens.

The former stable yard houses the Irish Agricultural Museum.

Ample free parking and cafe on site.

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