The History of Luttrellstown

A playground for the rich and famous

Luttrellstown takes its name from the Luttrell family, who held the estate for more than 300 years until, 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. However, there is evidence to show that Sir Henry Luttrell seized the estate in 1436, during the reign of King Henry VI.

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. They and their magnificent castle became known as an opulent venue famous for its gracious hospitality and entertainment, tailored to each visitor’s exacting requirements.

Unfortunately, the family line became extinct following the death of John Olmius Luttrell, 3rd Earl of Carhampton in 1829. Subsequently, a wealthy Dublin bookseller and businessman named Luke White purchased the estate for £180,000 from the Luttrells. The new owner of Luttrellstown achieved his great wealth by his involvement with selling lottery tickets. According to stories in circulation at the time he stopped the Belfast coach and bought unsold tickets believing that one of them had to be the winning ticket - he was correct and so fell into his fortune.

Under the ownership of a member of the world-famous Guinness family, the final phase of the castle’s development took place between 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.

Over the years many notable celebrities and members of the royal family have spent some time at Luttrellstown Castle. 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 have all stayed in this stunning Irish castle. More recently, the world’s media descended on Luttrellstown Castle Resort in 1999 for the fairy-tale wedding of David and Victoria Beckham.

To find our even more, download our History Booklet