My husband and I took a romantic trip to Carton House for our wedding anniversary
Carton House is set on 1,100 acres of parkland and is located just twenty minutes from the city centre. The estate itself has so much history, originally owned by the FitzGerald family and it boasts two championship golf courses in which the Golfing Union of Ireland, have their headquarters there. The IRFU use the house for training and a team base since 2010, I would have liked to have met the rugby players that evening, but they weren’t available. Carton House, because of its facilities, a range of soccer teams have come to take part in pre-season training. Teams like Newcastle, Real Madrid, Shamrock Rovers, Chelsea and Birmingham City F.C. have been seen at Carton House. The Dublin GAA team used Carton House for training in the summer of 2009.
The FitzGeralds originally owned Carton House & Queen Victoria was a guest
Originally owned by the FitzGerald family in 1170, when Maurice FitzGerald helped the Normans capture Dublin, and so therefore was awarded Lord Mayor of Maynooth. Maurice FitzGerald’s son became Earl of Kildare in 1315. In 1739, the 19th Earl of Kildare bought the lease of the land from Major General Richard Ingoldsby, and he employed architect Richard Cassles to build the house, Cassles was also responsible for Powerscout House and in 1745, Leinster House which he built for the FitzGeralds. In 1747, James FitzGerald, 20th Earl of Kildare married Lady Emily Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond and great grand-daughter of Charles II. She played an important role in the development of the House and the Estate and created the Chinese boudoir (Queen Victoria slept there on a visit), Lady Emily decorated Shells Cottage which contained shells from around the world.
That evening after a delicious dinner of Goats cheese, a succulent 7 oz steak accompanied with pont neuf potatoes and followed by Fanned Apple Tart in the Linden Tree restaurant, we explored the older part of the hotel, we spotted the Chinese room, but as soon as we left the new part of the hotel, the corridor got colder and the family portraits that hung on the wall seem to come alive (at least it felt that way). The FitzGeralds owned Carton House until the early 1920’s when the 7th Duke sold his birthright to a moneylender to pay of gambling debts of £67,500. He was third in line to succeed the inheritance, but when one of his brothers died in the war and another of a brain tumour, Carton House was lost to the FitzGeralds. In 1949 the 2nd Baron Brocket whose principal residence was Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire, England purchased the house and his son sold Carton to the Mallagan family in 1977, whom are now the present owners.
Popular with the stars
Carton House boasts two championship golf courses, a leisure centre and spa, beautiful woodlands and grounds, but was also used for the movie Leap Year starring Amy Adams and major dramas such as Love/Hate was filmed here. Many footballers, GAA and Rugby players train here and it has so much history that to stay in Carton House and estate is educational as well as pleasurable.
For more information visit www.cartonhouse.ie