Shankill Castle, Kilkenny

4.6
Castle · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Shankill Castle and Gardens is set in parkland near Paulstown on the Carlow/Kilkenny border. Visitors are invited to walk in the grounds and gardens, and there are guided tours of the house.

Shankill Castle started as a Butler tower-house near the ruins of an old church. Peter Aylward bought the lands from his wife's family, the Butlers, in 1708, and it was rebuilt and set in a formal landscape with a vista to the front and canal to the rear. In the 19th century, it was enlarged and castellated, serpentine bays added to the canal, and an unusual polyhedral sundial given a place of pride on a sunken lawn. Other additions were a gothic porch bearing the Aylward crest and a conservatory. The stable-yard and the castellated entrance to the demesne are attributed to Daniel Robertson. The interior preserves much of its 18th-century character and features including a Georgian staircase, Gothic plasterwork, and a Victorian drawing-room.

A branch of the Butler family, the Toler-Aylwards resided at Shankill until 1991 and some still live in the area of Kilkenny. Shankill is now home to the artist Elizabeth Cope and her husband Geoffrey. They have three children Phoebe Cope McCosh, Reuben Cope, and Sybil Cope. Shankill Castle hosts a residency programme for artists and creative professionals through ResArtis.
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Shankill Castle reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
29 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Visited one Sunday and spent two lovely hours in garden. Didn't have time to try out cafe but food looked lovely. 
    Visited one Sunday and spent two lovely hours in garden. Didn't have time to try out cafe but food looked lovely.  more »
  • Relaxed and easy going cafe, called in on Sunday afternoon for tea and cake with our 10month old. Staff were helpful and friendly, nice set up, high chair available too, socially distanced well with.....  more
    Relaxed and easy going cafe, called in on Sunday afternoon for tea and cake with our 10month old. Staff were helpful and friendly, nice set up, high chair available too, socially distanced well with.....  more »
  • The coffee shop is Shabby Chic with a simple but extremely tasty menu. It really is a lovely lunch option. 
    The coffee shop is Shabby Chic with a simple but extremely tasty menu. It really is a lovely lunch option.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful grounds, powerful art and delicious coffee
  • Our first time to visit the beautiful grounds and cafe of shankill Castle today but we shall certainly be back. Thoroughly enjoyed our visit and delicious cakes , followed by a winter stroll around the gorgeous grounds and gardens. Lots of outdoor seating also for these covid times , highly recommend a visit !
  • Beautiful house with lovely gardens to explore- plenty of sculptures and other surprises to make the stroll even more interesting. The ruined church is a must-see. Watch your step as the undergrowth adds to the creepy atmosphere.
  • stunning castle
  • Spent a lovely hour of so there. House had tours at 3:00pm but we had other plans so didn't do that. We had a lovely walk around the gardens. Nothing amazing but pleasant enough. The cafe looks good and tasty.

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