History of the Castle

Luttrellstown takes its name from the Luttrells who held the estate for more than 300 years until it passed from the family in 1811. The exact age of the castle is unknown, as it is almost impossible to separate the present structure from the earlier stronghold around which the famous Gothic façade is built.

There is evidence to show that Sir Henry Luttrell seized the estate in 1436, during the reign of King Henry VI. The room known today as King John’s Room holds within its walls the medieval staircase leading down to the Van Stry Room.

The Luttrells were a family of Norman origin who fought with William at Hastings, acquiring substantial estates in Yorkshire and Leicestershire. Throughout the succeeding centuries the family was to play an important role in both English and Irish history. One of the most prominent Catholic families of the Pale, they retained their faith after the Reformation, while at the same time benefiting greatly from the confiscation of the religious houses in Ireland. Apart from a short break during Cromwellian times, the family retained their influential position and continued to act as responsible members of the aristocracy for several hundred years.

The family line became extinct following the death of John Olmius Luttrell, third Earl of Carhampton in 1829. Subsequently the wealthy Dublin bookseller and businessman Luke White purchased the estate for £180,000 from the Luttrells.

The architectural history of the castle is highly complex, representing a progression from medieval stronghold to comfortable castle estate - going through various stages and culminating in a Gothic transformation that altered and unified the entire exterior. This romantic style, so fashionable in Britain and Ireland towards the end of the eighteenth century, gave the castle its present appearance. Tudor Revival and nineteenth-century Gothic Revival features are also part of the castle’s unique fabric.

Under the ownership of a member of the famous Guinness family, the final phase of the castles development took place in the 1910s and 1950s. During that time areas of the interior, particularly the Van Stry Room and the Kentian Room were ingeniously re-modelled using Baroque and Georgian idioms which harmonise perfectly with the remainder of the interior scheme.

The passing centuries have endowed Luttrellstown Castle with a noble spirit... a warmth and character which visitors can share in today.

Over the years many notable celebrities and members of the royal family have spent some time at Luttrellstown Castle. Queen Victoria was a guest in 1849 and 1900. Other distinguished visitors were the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Queen Magrethe II of Denmark, Paul Newman and Ronald Reagan. More recently Kelly Clarkson and her band have made themselves at home in the castle. Luttrellstown’s media profile was raised further when Victoria and David Beckham were married here on 4 July 1999.

In 1981 a substantial restoration programme was carried out. In addition to the decoration of the principal rooms, the castle has been furnished with a unique collection of eighteenth-century Irish and English furniture.

History by Jim Lacey

Notes on Architecture and Design

The architectural history of the castle is highly complex, representing a progression from the medieval stronghold to comfortable castle estate, going through various stages and culminating in a Gothic transformation that altered and unified the entire exterior. This romantic style, so fashionable in Britain and Ireland towards the end of the eighteenth century gave the castle its present appearance. Both Tudor Revival and the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival features are also part of the castle’s unique fabric.

Under the ownership of a member of the famous Guinness family, the final phase of the castle’s development took place in 1940’s and 1950’s. During that time, areas of the interior, particularly the Van Stry Room and the Kentian Room were ingeniously re­modelled using Baroque and Georgian Idioms, which harmonise perfectly the interior scheme.

The prettiest walk within the 560 acre castle estate is one which winds upon the glen, under the rustic arch with its wishing seat, until it reaches the lake where there is a little Doric temple. From here the garden front comes into view which is an excellent composition in paste-board Gothic, dating from the early years of the last century.

Aileen Plunket, who lived here for over fifty years created an interior of great wonder and elegance, in a variety of styles, with the help of Felix Harbord, the English interior decorator, a pupil of Sir Albert Richardson, the architect. The dining room was perhaps his most successful accomplishment, with its lively plaster birds and painted ceiling by de Wit.

The Grisaille Room contains an important series of grey and white panels in oil by de Gree representing “Mercury Introducing the Arts and History to Hibernia”. These were originally executed in 1788 for John Foster, the last Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.

In November 2006 Luttrellstown Castle Estate was purchased by Mr. JP McManus and Mr. John Magnier, both well respected Irish business men.

Click here to download our History Booklet

Contact Us

Luttrellstown Castle Resort
Castleknock, Ireland, D15 RH92
Tel +353 1 860 9600
Email enquiries@luttrellstown.ie