Malahide Castle is situated 13Km north of Dublin’s city centre and offers lots for visitors to see and do.
The history of Malahide Estate started in 1174 when a knight Richard Talbot who accompanied Henry II to Ireland was granted the estate, which included the lands and harbour. Parts of the castle date back to the 12th century.
The castle stayed in the Talbot family for 791 years, from 1185 to 1976. The only time when the castle was taken from the Talbot family was from 1649 to 1960 after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, where Oliver Cromwell granted the castle to Miles Corbet. With the downfall of Cromwell, Miles Corbet was hanged and the Talbot family was given their castle back.
During the years of the castle’s history, the original building was extended.
Things to do at Malahide Castle:
1. Tours of the castle
There are tours available from 9:30am till 4:30pm in summer, and till 3:30pm in winter each day (with the exception of Christmas time 24 – 26 December). The tour will take you through part of the castle, showcasing the luxurious furnishings, artwork, bedrooms and great hall. The tour also tells you about the castle’s ghostly residents: Puck who died broken-hearted, and the white lady of the castle.
2. Gardens and butterfly house
The gardens extend across 260 acres which include peaceful walks and a greenhouse of exotic plants and various species of butterflies.
3. Visitors centre
There is a museum shop with homemade Irish products, the Avoca store with a cafe and restaurant and outdoor market.
4. Fairy trail
For families with children, there is a fairy trail for children of all ages. The trail is 1.8km long, easily explored with a fun interactive booklet for kids to solve clues and answer questions along the way as they pass by sculptures and fairy gardens.
Malahide Castle has been hosting concerts since 2007, with Arctic Monkeys, Pink, Eric Clapton, The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Radiohead and Neil Young as some of the big artists to perform at the venue.
6. Malahide Abbey
The ruins of the Abbey date back to the 15th and 16 century. The Abbey served as the parish church and graveyard for Malahide. The Abbey features decoration in its construction, displaying the wealth of the Talbot family. Several tombs can be found in the church.