New Publications Available to Buy from the Castletown Bookshop

An Active Research Programme

It is our mission at Castletown ‘to conserve, protect and hold in trust’ this historic site and its contents, ‘in accordance with their national importance and use’. Working closely with the Castletown Foundation as well as the OPW-Maynooth University Archive and Research Centre based in Castletown, we aim to facilitate and develop research based on original sources so that our books, leaflets, exhibitions and guided tours are as enlightening and enjoyable as they can be. We firmly believe that by forming a better understanding of our site and the artefacts it contains we are better able to conserve, interpret and bring to life the story of this remarkable landmark, for the Irish nation and for the many visitors we welcome each year.

Below is a selection of publications that have accompanied past exhibitions and research projects in Castletown.

Richard Gorman, CASA

Published by OPW, 2016
ISBN 978-1-4064-2936-7
This catalogue was produced to coincide with Richard Gorman’s exhibition Casa at Castletown House, in 2016. The catalogue features an introduction from Mary Heffernan (OPW) and an essay by Jennifer Goff, Curator of Furniture, Silver, Music, Scientific instruments and the Eileen Gray collection at the National Museum of Ireland.

This catalogue is available for purchase at the ticket desk at Castletown House for €20 or online here.

The Children of Castletown House

By Sarah Conolly-Carew
Published by The History Press Ireland, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84588-857-2
Price: €16.20 (buy online here)

Castletown House was Ireland’s largest private residence, a spectacular Palladian mansion that was once an alternative seat of power to Dublin. This is the fascinating story of the last four children who grew up calling Castletown home, told by one of them.

Portrait of a Family

Published by Wordwell Books


This book was written to accompany the Office of Public Works’ new presentation of the Tom Conolly Room at Castletown where visitors are now introduced to generations of the family through portraiture.  

Richly illustrated, this history of the Conollys of Castletown, Co. Kildare, takes a novel approach to following the fortunes of the family over eight generations: from the construction by William Conolly in the 1720s to the sale of the house in 1965, it is related through the individual lives of family members. 

 Their interconnected biographies reveal opposing perspectives and trace how the terms of settlements and wills impacted on members of the extended family. Highlighting the significance of women to Castletown’s survival and the life stories of lesser-known residents, the author creates a rounded account of those who once occupied the house and the circumstances leading up to its near sale in 1808 following a bitter family rift. Encompassing diverse figures – some centre stage in major international events – this study of the Conollys provides fresh insights into their familial, social, political and cultural networks in Ireland and England. 



Castletown: Decorative Arts

Edited by Elizabeth Mayes
Published by OPW, 2011
ISBN: 2011
ISBN (paperback edition) 978-1-4064-2637-3

Castletown, one of Ireland’s finest Palladian mansions, is home to an important collection of paintings, furniture and objects, many associated with the house since the eighteenth century and is a place of great significance for Ireland and for all students of European art and architecture. This catalogue of the paintings, furniture and decorative arts in Castletown incorporates the latest research by a number of eminent scholars, and is a major landmark in Irish country house studies which will be of permanent value to social historians and to all lovers of Ireland’s cultural inheritance.

This book is available for purchase at the ticket desk in Castletown House for €30 or online here.

Music and dancing at Castletown, Co. Kildare, 1759–1821

By Karol Mullaney-Dignam
Published by Four Courts Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-84682-296-4
Price: €8.95 (buy online here)

Castletown, near Celbridge in Co. Kildare, was the home of the Right Honourable Thomas Conolly and his wife Lady Louisa (née Lennox). As a well-connected, high-society couple, the Conollys received invitations to the most exclusive social events in Dublin and London and their magnificent residence was a centre of fashionable sociability in which music and dancing were significant agents. This scholarly examination of music and dancing, as aspects of domiciliary sociability, entertainment and education, provides new perspectives on the form, function and furnishing of a Georgian country house in Ireland.

Castletown, Co. Kildare

Patrick Walsh
Published by OPW, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7557-7550-7
Price: €8

Written by historian Patrick Walsh, this guide book to Castletown offers a masterful overview of the great house’s history and explains its most important features, room by room. Landmarks in the designed parklands as well as the Conolly Folly and Wonderful Barn are also discussed.

Landscape Design in Eighteenth-Century Ireland: Mixing Foreign Trees with the Natives

By Finola O’Kane
Published by Cork UP, 2004
ISBN: 978-1859183625

A detailed and original study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century landscapes in and around the Dublin Pale, of the gardens in the region, and a picture of the aesthetic, political and economic factors which persuaded their owners to create them. Finola O’Kane provides a stunning visual history of the demesnes, underpinned by a persuasive analysis of what remains of the original landscapes today. Dozens of previously unpublished maps, plans, watercolours and paintings illustrate the rich stream of research the book.

Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa and Sarah Lennox, 1740 – 1832

By Stella Tillyard
Published by Vintage, 1995

Stella Tillyard’s bestselling book – made into a BBC mini-series in 1999 – offers a fascinating insight into eighteenth-century aristocratic life through the lives of the four Lennox sisters, the great-grandchildren of Charles II. Passionate, witty and moving, the voices of the Lennox sisters reach us with immediacy and power, drawing the reader into their world, and making this one of the most enthralling historical narratives to appear for many years.