The original castle at Rathfarnham dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman.
Loftus came to Ireland as chaplain to the Lord Deputy, and quickly rose to become Archbishop of Dublin, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He was also closely involved in the establishment of Trinity College. The castle, with its four flanker towers, is an excellent example of the fortified house in Ireland. In the late eighteenth century, the house was remodelled on a splendid scale employing some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. The collection includes family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808). Rathfarnham Castle is managed and operated by the Office of Public Works.
A visit for primary level students can be used to support various aspects of the curriculum including:
- Art, Craft and Design (investigate by looking; learn about artists; architects and designers from different periods; develop observational skills)
- History (how people lived; the changes that took place over different periods and how people were affected by those changes; understanding local history and learning about evidence)
- CSPE (appreciating our environment)
For more information and to arrange a visit go to http://rathfarnhamcastle.ie/.
Text and images courtesy of Rathfarnham Castle and the OPW.