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Clonsilla (Cluain Saileach – meadow of the Willow / Sallows), straddling the Royal Canal, was once a village in its own right, but is nowadays regarded as part of the greaterBlanchardstown area. Massive residential development has seen the local population multiply dramatically, and little remains of the rural district that oldtimers fondly recall.

Clonsilla was once home to many stud farms, including the famous Ongar stud formerly owned by Prince Ali Khan and his then wife Rita Hayworth.

Luttrellstown Castle dates from c.1420, when it was built by the Luttrell family, who had been granted extensive property in the area in 1210. The estate was confiscated from the family briefly during the Cromwellian administration (when it was seized by Col. Hewson) and after the Williamite War, when it was returned to the treacherous Col. Henry Luttrell, and sold in 1800.by Henry Lawes Luttrell, 2nd Earl of Carhampton, notorious for his role in suppressing the 1798 Rebellion.

The purchaser was Luke White, who changed its name to “Woodlands”. His descendants, theBarons of Annaly, changed the name back to the original,  extended the medieval building into a vast Gothic mansion, and laid out the magnificent grounds.

Queen Victoria first visited Luttrellstown in 1849 en route to at Carton House to stay with the Duke of Leinster. She returned in 1900, and drank a cup of tea near the waterfall, an event commemorated by a obelisk made of six blocks of granite.

In 1927 the (much reduced) estate was bought by Ernest Guinness as a present for his daughter, Eileen Guinness (one of the famous “Glorious Guinness girls” who wowed royalty and Hollywood stars alike in London, Paris and New York in the 1920s) on the occasion of her wedding to Brinsley Plunkett.

In 1983 it was bought by a private consortium, which turned it into a luxury hotel and golf resort. An English footballer not renowned for his intellect married a minor pop singer there amidst much publicity at the end of the last century.

The Shackleton Gardens, opposite Luttrellstown Castle, were formerly owned by theShackleton family. The most famous feature is a beautiful walled garden containing many rare flower species.

More soon!


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