Tulira Castle, Ardrahan, Co. Galway
- Country House For Sale
On c. 101 Hectares (250 Acres)
Tulira Castle is without doubt one of Irelands most historically significant Castles, with a rich architectural heritage. One enters Tulira Castle through an impressive entrance gates which were brought from Dunsandle House in 1950. The Castle is approached by an immaculate three-quarter-mile avenue, lined with 95 lime trees.
The Castle comprises three main buildings, a medieval tower, courtyard buildings and the Victorian Castle. The original structure, a medieval tower house, rests 12th century foundations. A castellated house was added to the tower in 1882 by Edward Martyn, a leading figure in the Irish Literary and Artistic revival, he commissioned George Ashlin as his architect. Ashlin, a renowned ecclesiastical architect, had only completed two smaller houses prior to designing Tulira, and consequently it became his star project. A large stone set over the main castle door dates the Victorian addition to 1882.
The Victorian Castle
Edward Martyn's large collection of papers and documents relating to Tulira have not survived, however, it is known that the Castle stands on the ruins of an earlier house that was destroyed by fire. The front façade of the castle is in the Gothic Revival style and is striking from every angle. It is believed that Tulira is the only castle in Ireland that never been invaded, attacked and ransacked and the beautiful Gothic interior attests to this.
The Great Hall
The monumental Great Hall with its 40ft high timber ceiling is the centrepiece of the castle. There are several fine Irish marble columns, varying in style from Irish Black to Connemara Green. The capitals which crown the columns are of carved stone upon one of which an unknown craftsman carved his own likeness. The chimneypiece was designed by Pugin, who famously designed the Palace of Westminister. In 2000, the magnificent stained glass window was added; the design was taken from Pugin work. The main hall window was never glassed, until the present 12-piece stained glass and was installed in 2000. Its design was taken from Pugin work.
The Reception Rooms
Apart from the Great Hall, all rooms in the castle have pitch pine floors, which were imported form the U.S.A.
The Drawing Room has hand-made wallpaper to a design by Pugin for Nowton Hall, Suffolk. There eleven original stained glass panels in the upper windows, the remaining four were made to the same design in Galway. The ceiling quadrant decoration stands out by its detail and intricacy. The large marble and carved stone mantel piece with gold over mantle mirror are the centre piece of the room.
The Dining Room has the original wallpaper from the 1880's. The upper windows in the bay contain six stained glass panels with the crests of the Galway tribes.
The Library is dominated by an oversized limestone mantelpiece; two andirons in the fireplace carry the Martyn family crest. There are three original stained glass panels in the upper windows. The Bay has a stained glass portrait of Edward Martyn flanked by Irish provincial crests.
The Morning Room is the brightest room in the castle. The mantelpiece is very large, similar to the library and would most likely have been moved to Tulira from a nearby Tower House.
In the East Wing there is a fully furnished and equipped kitchen, with an AGA, marble tiled floor and small Dutch wall tiles of varying colours. The Wing also contains a study, workroom, and laundry room.
On the first floor of the castle, there are seven substantial bedrooms, the master has a large dressing room and bathroom. Five of the bedrooms have private ensuite bathrooms, and one has a large dressing room. There is also a large family sitting room in the East Wing. Many of the bedrooms contain fireplaces with unique tile motif surrounds depicting various different scenes. On the second floor of the main castle, an oak stairway leads to a sitting room in the tower.
The Medieval Tower
While the castle was being built Edward Martyn decided to make the tower habitable. The stone spiral staircase leads to the first floor room with timber floor and ceiling, a fireplace and an adjacent vaulted and brick-clad room. Edward, man of the arts, poet and author, founder of the Palestrina Choir, always worked standing up, and a reproduction of his tall desk is witness to this. There are five panels of stained glass made and signed by Edward Frampton, 1883. The chapel, on the second floor is furnished with an altar and a set of eight oak pews. On the top floor of the castle is the banqueting hall.
Gardens and Lands
The walled garden, which was fully restored in 2006, extends to approximately 2 acres. During the restoration a classical design was chosen with the front cantered around a large stone fountain. The front wall features a greenhouse and a pergola, as well as herb and vegetable gardens. The orchard to the rear with ruined original greenhouse which was originally heated by a fireplace to the rear wall.
To the front of the castle is a large ornamental lake, built in 1990, manicured lawns surround the castle. The estate extends to about 101 Hectares (250 Acres) of which approximately 160 Acres is arable and 90 Acres of mature woodland. There are extensive road/pathways through the woodland and an ornamental summer house.
Secondary Accommodation and Cottages
Tulira Castle has a number of additional houses, including a Gate Lodge, Stable House, Butlers Apartment and further Staff Apartments. There are also extensive original staff quarters in the courtyard that could be converted to further accommodation if required.
BER Exempt (Listed Building)
+ 353 1 662 3255
Interested in this Residential Property?
Contact the Estate Agent about: Tulira Castle, Ardrahan, Co. Galway
- Ganly Walters
- 8-34 Percy Place, Dublin City Centre, Dublin 4
- Phone: 01 662 3255
- Fax: 01 661 8235
* Denotes Not Full Market Price
† Denotes Price is Ex. VAT
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