Huntington Castle

Counties Wexford, Waterford, Carlow & Kilkenny

The core of Huntington Castle is a spooky, dusty old tower house built in 1625 by Sir Laurence Esmonde, now surrounded by Georgian terraces and flamboyantly castellated Victorian extensions. Related to the Esmondes by marriage, the Durdin-Robertson family still live here today and offer 40-minute guided tours of the house's Jacobean hall, Victorian kitchens and living quarters, complete with entertaining ghost stories.

The oddest part of the tour is the Temple of Isis in the basement, the idiosyncratic headquarters of the Fellowship of Isis, an order dedicated to the worship of the 'divine feminine', founded by family member Olivia Robertson in 1976.

The gardens combine the formal with rural fantasy and include a fabulous 500-year-old Yew Walk, an avenue of lime trees planted in 1680 and a 17th-century fishpond. Facilities include an adventure playground, a tearoom and a gift shop.

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