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Rathfarnham Castle

Contact Details

Address: Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

Telephone No: +353 1 493 9462
Email: rathfarnhamcastle@opw.ie


Opening Hours

Winter opening hours: (until early May 2013)

Wednesday - Sunday and Bank Holidays. 10.30 - 17.00.

Last Admission Wednesday - Friday 16.00.

Last Admission Saturday & Sunday 16.30

Summer opening hours: (from early May 2013)

Tuesday - Sunday and Bank Holidays 10.00am - 5.15pm
Last admissions 4.30pm.


Please note opening times may be subject to change. Phone number above for details.

Average Length of Visit: 1hour


Admission Fees



Toilets, toilet for visitors with disabilities, car/coach park

A playground managed by South Dublin County Council is in the grounds of the Castle

Stuart and Chambers Tearooms open all year round
Access for visitors with disabilities
Winter opening hours: 10.00 - 16.00 Monday - Friday. 10.00 - 17.00 Saturdays and Sundays.

Summer opening hours: 09.30 - 17.00 Daily
Seating capacity: 50
Telephone: + 353 1 493 9461

The original castle at Rathfarnham dates back to the Elizabethan period and was built for Archbishop Adam Loftus, an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman, who came to Ireland as chaplain to the Lord Deputy and quickly rose to become Archbishop of Dublin, Lord Chancellor of Ireland and was closely involved in the establishment of Trinity College. The castle with its four flanker towers is an excellent example of the fortified house in Ireland. In the late 18th century, the house was remodelled on a splendid scale employing some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers and James 'Athenian' Stuart. The collection includes family portraits by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680), and Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808).

Rathfarnham Castle welcomes you to the Berkeley Costumes and Toy Collection at Rathfarnham Castle.  Fashion and playthings offer a fascinating insight into social history. Like vernacular architecture, furniture and furnishings, clothes and toys are the physical evidence of lives lived and those lives have something to tell us. The installation by the OPW of the Berkeley Costume and Toy Collection in the magnificent setting of Rathfarnham Castle brings the historic interiors to life and enables this unique collection to be enjoyed by a greater audience.

The Berkeley Costume and Toy Collection is an exquisite collection of 18th and 19th century toys, dolls and costumes. The collection began as a private passion in Co.Wexford over twenty years ago by Irish artist and collector Countess Ann Griffin Bernstorff. The collection was gathered together over many decades from her own family trunks and from auctions and donations. Displayed in the elegant rooms of Rathfarnham Castle and covering a period of some 80 years from 1740 – 1820, the exhibits range from rare and delicate artefacts to simple and robust playthings, and everyday garments of the past many of which were once owned by Irish families. 

Location: Rathfarnham by-pass, between Rathfarnham Road and Grange Road (near Rathfarnham Village)

Bus Routes: 16/16A from City Centre, 17 (Blackrock - Rialto), 75 (Dun Laoghaire - Tallaght)

Guided Tours: Self guiding.  Tours may be arranged by prior appointment.                 
Duration: 1 hour
Groups of 10 or more must pre-book

Leaflet/Guide Book: Leaflet in English

Seasonal Events: Occasional exhibitions and concerts

Photography/Video allowed: No

Additional Information: Restricted access for visitors with disabilities

Event Calendar

Event Calendar
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