Embrace this wonderful opportunity to view Howth Castle, still the private residence of the Gaisford-St. Lawrence family. The St. Lawrences have resided here for 800 years, making this the longest continually inhabited residence in Britain and Ireland. Follow in the footsteps of the many distinguished guests the family has welcomed over the centuries, including Jonathon Swift, Queen Victoria, and Bing Crosby. This is a rare opportunity to explore the interior of one of the big houses of Ireland in its authentic, honest, and uncontrived condition.
The tour begins at 2pm in the beautiful surroundings of the Walled Garden in Howth Castle.
First we will take a stroll around the outer walls and towers of the castle, admiring its glorious architecture, to the place where the story of the St. Lawrences began - the front of the Battle of Evora Bridge in 1177. With a view to the islands off Howth, we will recount the history of this ancient peninsula, before and after the Anglo-Norman invasion that brought the St. Lawrences here, discovering the place of this illustrious family in local, Irish, and European history.
We will then ascend the stately steps to the front door of the castle, enter the Main Hall and leave the modern world behind us.
We will explore the Main Hall, beautifully renovated by Lutyens, familiarising ourselves with the Lords, Barons, and Earls of Howth who have resided in this magnificent house, and appreciate the artwork, ornaments, and design of this splendid room.
Stepping in to the Dining Room, meet Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Clew Bay who once kidnapped the heir of the castle to teach Lord Howth a lesson; Jonathon Swift and his Blue-Eyed Nymph; and the 3rd Earl and his beloved horses.
Climb the staircase to the fairytale Tower Bedroom and feel like a character in a period drama.
Traverse the Sidney Hall to Lutyens' Loggia, and if the weather permits take a walk across the lawn at the back of the castle and be inspired by the timeless vista there.
Delight in the Drawing Room, with its exquisite furniture and art, where Queen Victoria once sat for tea as a guest of the family.
Trot through the Boudoir, a shrine to the family's cherished horses, to the Lutyens' Library, the grandest room that Lutyens designed in Ireland, which houses the magnificent book collection of Thomas Gaisford, Dean of Christchurch College, Oxford.
Finish in the Kitchens and Butler's Pantry, imagining the staff at work preparing the great feasts that have taken place here.