The oldest and largest Palladian country house in Ireland, Castletown is also one of the very finest. Its plain, grey but elegant facade, built in the style of a sixteenth-century Italian town palace, conceals a wealth of beautiful and fascinating interior detail. The house was built for William Conolly, son of a Donegal publican who, as legal adviser to William III, became the wealthiest man in Ireland from dealing in forfeited estates after the Battle of the Boyne. Though construction began in 1722, under first the Italian architect Alessandro Galilei and then his acquaintance, Edward Lovett Pearce, the interior was still unfinished at the time of Conolly’s death seven years later. A second phase of work began in 1758, when great-nephew Tom Conolly married the 15-year-old Lady Louisa Lennox, who set about altering and redecorating the house to restrained, Neoclassical designs by Sir William Chambers, the architect of the Casino at Marino, Dublin.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Spring equinox at Loughcrew: waking up to Ireland’s secret rock art

Spring equinox at Loughcrew: waking up to Ireland’s secret rock art

The Loughcrew hills near the centre of Ireland are little-known – but at the spring equinox they take on a special magic. On this spring bank holiday, Paul C…

01 May 2017 • Paul Clements local_activity Special feature
6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

11 Apr 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook