DiCamillo Companion
Ireland

Leixlip Castle

  • House & Family History: Leixlip was originally a 12th century fortress. In the 15th century the Castle was granted to the 8th Earl of Kildare, taken back from the 10th Earl, and then given back to the 11th Earl (the earls of Kildare were also the heads of the FitzGerald family). In 1732 William Conolly of Castletown purchased Leixlip, which was kept by his descendants until 1914. Leixlip is supposedly haunted by a many-headed dog which looks into the House through the window panes. It's claimed that Prince John (the future King John of England), when lord of Ireland, stayed in the Castle in 1185. In 1752 Archbishop Price died and was buried in the Protestant church at Leixlip. In his will he left £100 and a recipe for a dark beer to his servant, Richard Guinness. Guinness started a brewery in Leixlip in 1752 that eventually grew to be one of the largest in the world.

    Collections: Leixlip contains a fine 18th century dolls' house that was originally made for Newbridge, Co. Dublin.

  • Architect: Unknown (designed by an unknown architect)

    Date: 18th century
    Designed: Gothicized Windows and added Library and Drawing Room

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  • Title: Great Irish Houses and Castles
    Author: O'Brien, Jacqueline; Guinness, Desmond
    Year Published: 1992
    Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
    ISBN: 0810933659
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Unknown

    Park Listed: Unknown

  • Seat of: The Hon. Desmond Guinness

    Past Seat of: Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, 15th century. William Conolly, 18th century; Conolly family here from from 1732 until 1914.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Limited Access

    Phone: 016-244-430

    Fax: 016-244-446

    Email: leixlipcastle@eircom.net

    Historic Houses Member: No