The Children of Castletown House

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More About This Title The Children of Castletown House


Castletown House, in County Kildare, was Ireland’s largest private residence, a spectacular Palladian mansion which was once an alternative seat of political power to Dublin, and whose design was the basis for the White House in Washington. The four Conolly-Carew children, Sarah, Patrick, Diana and Gerald, were the last generation to grow up within its walls, and their story is a window into Ireland’s real Downton Abbey, a world of servants and lavish balls, of cars run on charcoal, visiting Princesses, IRA intimidation and Olympic glory. Today Castletown is owned by the state, and operates as a highly regarded tourist attraction, but in this book you will hear what really happened in these banquet halls, and about the dramas that unfolded beneath these still glittering chandeliers.


Sarah Conolly-Carew’s father-in-law was the last Commander of the White Russian Army. They have hosted Princess Grace of Monaco and many of the Royals, and amongst their many experiences are Olympic medals and assassination. Sarah McPherson is also a dedicated historian, who brings a rigor to the many stories they have to tell about the history of Castletown House. Desmond Guinness is a conservationist and the author of Dublin: A Grand Tour, Georgian Dublin, and Irish Houses and Castles.