1739 – Carton, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

Architect: Richard Cassels / Richard Morrison

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In 1739, the 19th Earl of Kildare employed Richard Castle to build the existing house replacing an earlier buildng. Castle (originally Cassels) was responsible for many of the great Irish houses, including Summerhill, Westport, Powerscourt House and in 1745, Leinster House, which he also built for the FitzGeralds.

In 1815 the 3rd Duke decided to sell Leinster House to the Royal Dublin Society and make Carton his principal residence. He employed Richard Morrison to enlarge and re-model the house. Morrison replaced the curved colonnades with straight connecting links to obtain additional rooms. At this time, the entrance to the house was moved to the north side.

Carton remained in the control of the FitzGeralds until the early 1920s when the 7th Duke sold the estate and house to pay off gambling debts of £67,500. In 2000, Carton was redeveloped as a “premier golf resort and hotel”. A hotel was added to the main house, and the estate’s eighteenth-century grounds and landscaping were converted into two golf courses.

From: J.P. Neale, Views of the seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, Second Series, vol.II, London, 1825
“Carton House, the principal Seat of his Grace the Duke of Leinster, is at the same time one of the noblest mansions in Ireland ; the structure is uniform , and extends in length four hundred feet from wing to wing ; the centre building, two hundred and forty feet in length, is ap propriated to a complete suite of state rooms, consisting of a Hall, in form a parallelogram , forty – five feet six inches, by nineteen feet six inches : this apartment is generally used as a Billiard-room. The Grand Staircase is seventeen feet by nineteen feet six inches. The suite of rooms upon the Park front, which is given in the annexed view, consists of a Dining -room of grand dimensions, fifty- two feet five inches in length, by twenty -four feet in breadth, and twenty -four feet high ; an Ante- roomi eighteen feet four inches by seventeen feet two inches ; a noble Draw ing – room , thirty – five feet six inches long, nineteen feet six inches wide, and twenty- seven feet high ; at one end of this elegant room is an organ, the other end opens to the Library, which is forty- six feet in length , and nineteen feet six inches wide ; to which is attached a Reading room in dimension eighteen feet four inches by twenty -one feet six inches, beyond which is the Duke of Leinster’s private room ; a Dressing -room and Baths complete the suite . The wings are attached to the centre by an open colonnade of the Doric order. In one of the wings is com prised the Stables, Coach-houses, &c . &c. , and the other contains the Kitchen and Offices, all upon a grand scale . Carton House is situated eleven miles from Dublin , and about one mile from Maynooth , and had been successively a residence of the fami lies of Talbot and Ingoldesby, previously to its coming into the possession of the present noble family.”

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