Malahide Castle is one of the oldest and most historic castles in Ireland. From 1185 until 1975, it was the home of the Talbot family. This was a remarkable tenure by a single family and is one of the longest in Ireland.
In 1169, at the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion, Malahide was under the control of Hammund Mac Turkill, the last Viking King of Dublin.
The estate began in 1185, when Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied England’s King, Henry II to Ireland in 1174, was granted the “lands and harbour of Malahide”. Strongbow was granted the remainder of Leinster.
The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th century and it was home to the Talbot family for 791 years, the only exception being the period from 1649-1660, when Oliver Cromwell granted it to Miles Corbet after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland; Corbet was hanged following the demise of Cromwell, and the castle was restored to the Talbots.
The building was notably enlarged in the reign of England’s King, Edward IV, and the towers were added in 1765.
The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne, when fourteen members of the owner’s family sat down to breakfast in the Great Hall, and all were dead by evening, and the Penal Laws, even though the family remained Roman Catholic until 1774.
In the 1920s the private papers of James Boswell were discovered in the castle, and sold to American collector Ralph H. Isham by Boswell’s great-great-grandson Lord Talbot of Malahide.
Malahide Castle and Demesne was eventually inherited by the seventh Baron, Lord Milo Talbot and on his death in 1973, passed to his sister, Rose. In 1975, Rose sold the castle to the Irish State, partly to fund inheritance taxes.
Many of the contents, notably furnishings, of the castle, had been sold in advance, leading to considerable public controversy, but private and governmental parties were able to retrieve some.
Your guests will dine in the most important medieval room in Ireland while our String Quartet plays above from the Minstrel’s Gallery.
This very special evening commences with a private guided tour where your guests will see the Castle’s beautiful antique furnishings, some of which are priceless treasures and its extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, mainly from the National Gallery of Ireland.
Guests can enjoy an aperitif in the 18th Century Blue Room while admiring the room’s fine collection of silhouettes and miniature furniture.
Guests are then led into the Great Hall of Malahide Castle where a sumptuous 6-course Banquet awaits. You will enjoy your meal at a 60 foot long Irish Oak table decorated with the finest Irish table ware and Dublin Crystal Glass, adding to the elegance of your evening.
The evening may conclude with traditional Irish musicians or with the simplicity of voice and harp that belongs to the Castle’s renowned Irish Singer and Harpist.
Our professional and friendly staff add a very special charm to the old-world elegance of this exclusive venue and will ensure that your guests relax and enjoy the ambiance of the exquisite experience that is Malahide Castle.
Dining in Style
Malahide Castle has catered for Royalty, Ambassadors, Heads of State and Our preferred caterers, whose Head Chef, Brian Beattie is not only member of Eurotoques but has a wealth of culinary experience gained during his time at all of Dublin’s top, Michelin Star, restaurants. His culinary expertise was gained in: L’Ecrivian; Chapter One; Thornton’s and Patrick Guilbaud’s his impressive talent will ensure that your dining experience will be as unique as the venue itself.
The luxury of our surroundings coupled with unrivalled personal attention, makes a Malahide Castle Banquet the most exclusive dining experience in Ireland.
Rates, Menus, Wine Lists and Entertainment options are available on request.
Malahide Castle with its 800 year old family history is haunted with many unseen and unknown spirits and their presence is felt in every room.Many historic castles and houses have one ghost, some have two or three, but Malahide Castle has five!
Lord Galtrim, Sir Walter Hussey
First there is the spectre of young Lord Galtrim, Sir Walter Hussey, son of the Baron of Galtrim, who in the 15th Century was killed in battle on his wedding day. This Lord Galtrim wanders through the Castle at night pointing to the spear wound in his side and uttering dreadful groans. It is said he haunts the Castle to show his resentment towards his young bride, who married his rival immediately after he had given up his life in defence of her honour and happiness.
Lady Maud Plunkett
The second ghost is that of the Lady Maud Plunkett who does not appear as she did on the day of her marriage to Lord Galtrim, but as she looked when she married her third husband, a Lord Chief Justice. At this time she had become notorious as an un-equalled virago, and in her ghostly appearances chases her husband through the corridors of the Castle.
Miles Corbet’s Ghost
The third ghost is more interesting, historically speaking and is that of Miles Corbett, the Roundhead to whom Cromwell gave the Castle and property during his protectorate. At the Restoration Miles was deprived of his property and made to pay the penalty of the many crimes he had committed during his occupancy, and which included the desecration of the chapel of the old abbey near the Castle. He was hanged, drawn and quartered and when his ghost first appears it seems to be a perfectly whole soldier in armour, but then falls into four pieces before the eyes of anyone who has the unpleasant experience of meeting it.
The story of the forth ghost has a certain amount of pathos. In the 16th Century, as befitted a family of importance, the Talbots always had a jester among their retinue of attendants. One of these jesters, “Puck” by name, fell in love with a kinswoman of Lady Elenora Fitzgerald, who was detained at the Castle by Henry VIII because of her rebel tendencies. On a snowy December night the jester was found close to the walls of the Castle stabbed through the heart, a tragic figure in his gay jester suit and cap and bells. Before he died he swore an oath that he would haunt the Castle until a master reigned who choose a bride from the people, but would harm no one if a male Talbot slept under the roof.
Poor little Puck and his last appearance were reported during the sale of the contents of the Castle in May 1976. His little dwarf figure makes its appearance in many photographs of the Castle and one outstanding photograph shows his old bewitching and wrinkled face peering out of the ivy on the wall.
The White Lady
For many years, the painting of a very beautiful anonymous lady, in a flowing white dress, hung in the Great Hall of the Castle. Nobody appeared to know her identity or the identity of the artist who portrayed her. It had been recorded that from time to time she would leave her painting and wander through the Castle in the quiet of the night. Reputed to have been seen by a number of people, over a period of many years, she has become known as the White Lady.
In the Castle grounds is a field called Our Lady’s Acre, which is also reputed not to be immune to ghostly meanderings. On a few occasions two grey-haired, sad-faced ladies have been seen, wandering aimlessly. Nobody knows the reasons for their sojourn. Some sources suggest that they are ghosts of Danish women who never found rest when the Norman Talbot drove the Danes from Malahide.
Tours of Malahide Castle
A visit to Malahide Castle is so much more than just a tour, it is an engaging and truly memorable experience and is guaranteed to be the highlight of your visit to Dublin.
We offer a variety of tours to suit leisure visitors, groups or educational tour groups - see further below. Guided audio tours run every fifteen minutes. Duration of the tour is thirty-five minutes.
Audio tours are available for groups in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Japanese. Written translations are also available.
Ask us about Combined Tickets, available to visit one of the following attractions: Dublin Writers Museum, James Joyce Museum, The George Bernard Shaw Birthplace, The Fry Model Railway.
The Fry Model Railway is a unique collection of handmade models of Irish trains, from the beginning of rail travel to modern times. One of the world’s largest miniature railways, the exhibition is unique in that it is a working railway covering an area of 2,500 sq. feet.
Situated in the beautiful grounds surrounding Malahide Castle, this delightful collection is a treat for railway enthusiasts, children and adults alike. The beautifully engineered models are from a collection originally built up in the 1920s and 1930s by Cyril Fry, a railway engineer and draughtsman, with each piece assembled with the finest attention to detail.
Irish and international exhibits from the earliest railway developments are run on a Grand Transport Complex which includes stations, bridges, trams, buses, barges and even the River Liffey… pick out the models of Cork and Heuston Stations, O’Connell Bridge and other Dublin landmarks, perfectly constructed in miniature. Definitely a treat for all the family including adults.
Malahide Demesne Regional Park covers an area of 109 ha. or 270 acres. The park was in the ownership of the Talbot Family in an almost unbroken line between the years 1185 and 1975 when the park was bought by Dublin County Council. The parkland is a good example of an eighteenth century landscape park with perimeter woodland belt surrounding extensive lawns.
Visitor attractions within the Demesne include Malahide Castle itself, Fry Model Railway, Tara’s Palace and Childhood Museum, Talbot Botanic Gardens.
Visitor facilities include a Craft Shop, Restaurant and Tearooms.
The Park also includes a Children’s Playground, 9 hole par 3 Golf Course, 18 hole pitch & Putt Course, Sports Pitches, Tennis Courts and Cricket Pitch, an exercise trail and a boules area.
The Park is situated within easy walking distance of the centre of Malahide Village.
By Car: Signposted from the M1/N1 Dublin-Belfast and from the main Dublin to Malahide road.
By Bus: Bus 42 from Talbot Street in Dublin city centre.
By Train: Just a short walk from Malahide Train Station on the main line from Dublin to Drogheda/Dundalk.
Talbot Botanic Gardens
The Talbot Botanic Gardens which contain almost 5,000 plant species. Emphasis has been placed on Southern Hemisphere plants, particularly Australasian and Chilean species. The gardens were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot between 1948 and 1973 and cover an area of 6.6ha of shrubbery.
The Restaurant & Tearooms
Unusual dining is to be had in one of the most historic locations in all of Ireland, where the finest food is cooked fresh by experienced chefs, and served to you in the wonderful ambiance of what was originally the main kitchen and storage area of this 12th century castle.
The tearooms and coffee shop offer you an old style surrounding, with the facilities of a modern self–service area. Here you will find a selection of full meals, light snacks, salad bar, desserts, tea, coffee, wines and other refreshments, all of which are reasonably priced.
Named after the original family, this 40 seater restaurant offers an excellent range of menus to choose from, whether it is a brief visit or a three course lunch. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are offered.
Malahide Castle Restaurant has become very popular, not just with tourists but also locals for lunch. So why not enjoy a freshly baked scone, with homemade jam and cream, after your tour of the castle or the Talbot Botanical Gardens.
We look forward to welcoming you on your next visit!
Malahide, County Dublin
Tel: + 353 1 846 2184
Fax: + 353 1 846 2537
- Castles in Dublin