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History of the Area

Luttrellstown takes its name from the Luttrells who held the estate for more than 300 years until it passed from the family in 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.

There is evidence to show that Sir Henry Luttrell seized the estate in 1436, during the reign of King Henry VI. The room known today as King John’s Room holds within its walls the medieval staircase leading down to the Van Stry Room.

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.

The family line became extinct following the death of John Olmius Luttrell, third Earl of Carhampton in 1829. Subsequently the wealthy Dublin bookseller and businessman Luke White purchased the estate for £180,000 from the Luttrells.

The architectural history of the castle is highly complex, representing a progression from medieval stronghold to comfortable castle estate - going through various stages and culminating in a Gothic transformation that altered and unified the entire exterior. This romantic style, so fashionable in Britain and Ireland towards the end of the eighteenth century, gave the castle its present appearance. Tudor Revival and nineteenth-century Gothic Revival features are also part of the castle’s unique fabric.

Under the ownership of a member of the famous Guinness family, the final phase of the castles development took place in 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.

The passing centuries have endowed Luttrellstown Castle with a noble spirit... a warmth and character which visitors can share in today.

Over the years many notable celebrities and members of the royal family have spent some time at Luttrellstown Castle. Queen Victoria was a guest in 1849 and 1900. Other distinguished visitors were 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. More recently Kelly Clarkson and her band have made themselves at home in the castle. Luttrellstown’s media profile was raised further when Victoria and David Beckham were married here on 4 July 1999.

In 1981 a substantial restoration programme was carried out. In addition to the decoration of the principal rooms, the castle has been furnished with a unique collection of eighteenth-century Irish and English furniture.