Malahide castle

17 Apr


                The malahide castle was truly exquisite. It is surrounded by 268 acres of woodland, park and walled Gardens. It was home to the Talbot family nearly 800 years ago. One can go one a woodland walk where you see the outside of the malahide castle and gardens. There is an abundance of trails which allow one to explore a vast array of wild flowers, trees, and shrubs. In the old castle courtyard visitors can expect a brand new visitor center where tickets can be bought for guided & audio tours of the castle & gardens.

                Within the visitor centre in the courtyard, a new interpretation & exhibition area tells visitors the story of the walled gardens as seen through the eyes of ‘Lord Milo Talbot’, the creator of the gardens and grounds as seen today. The Malahide Castle is set on 250 acres of park land in the pretty seaside town of Malahide. It was both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years and is an interesting mix of architectural styles.
The Talbot family lived here from 1185 to 1973, when the last Talbot died. The house is furnished with beautiful period furniture together with an extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, mainly from the National Gallery. The history of the Talbot family is recorded in the Great Hall, where portraits of generations of the family tell their own story of Ireland’s stormy history. Many additions and alterations have been made to this romantic and beautiful structure, but the contours of the surrounding parklands have changed little in 800 years, retaining a sense of the past.

                One of my personal favorite parts of the tour was the ghost stories told by the tour guide. Many historic castles and houses have one ghost, some have two or three, but Malahide Castle has five. One of my favorite tales told was of Puck. Puck was at one time the resident caretaker of Malahide Castle. He is said to have been four foot tall and bearded man. His main task was to keep watch and sound the alarm in case of an attack on the Talbot family. He was said to of been very meticulous. Always having his staircase where he slept and kept watch very tidy. Legend has it that out of the blue he hung himself from the Minstrel’s Gallery, overlooking the Great Hall. But that wasn’t the end of Puck! His ghost is said to have made many appearances around the castle. Many Talbot family members believed Puck was doing is job still from the grave. He was very loyal to the family and didn’t want to leave. His last appearance at the castle is said to be in 1976. A member of staff was sitting in the Great Hall, cataloging material for the pending auction when he swears that Puck appeared on this staircase. Without any prior knowledge he was able to describe Puck as he had been known to generations of Talbots.







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