Clontarf Castle

Clontarf Castle has been a hotel since 1998, but it stands on the site of a castle that dates back to 1172. For many years the castle was a base for the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller who were both involved in the Crusades to the Holy Land. They were skilled fighters who took part in wars about religion by Christian Europeans against other religions.

This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.

Clontarf Castle

Clontarf Castle was on the site now occupied by Clontarf Castle Hotel on Castle Avenue. Although the present building was converted to a posh hotel in 1998, it stands on the site of a much older castle, which dates back to 1172. It is believed to have been built either by Hugh de Lacy, Earl of Meath or his tenant Adam de Phepoe.

For many years the castle was a base for the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller who were both involved in the Crusades to the Holy Land. These were skilled fighters who took part in wars about religion by Christian Europeans against different religions.

In 1641 Luke Neverville of Corballis (which is near Donabate) took over Artane Castle and village. George King, the owner of Clontarf Castle joined him. They seized weapons from an enemy ship and returned to Swords where they were joined by local farmers and fisherman.

However later that year, Sir Charles Coote, marched to Clontarf and found some of the ship's cargo in Clontarf Castle. The Castle was taken over and now belonged to the Puritans. (The word "Puritan" means that followers had a pure soul and if you lived a good life you would get to Heaven.)

Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan General, was given charge of the estate, which he gave his friend John Blackwell who then gave it to John Vernon. The family of John Vernon were there for almost 300 years. Vernon Avenue is named after this family.

In 1835, it was thought that the castle was unsafe and the architect William Vetruvius said it had to be knocked down and rebuilt. The castle as we know it was completed in 1837.

The castle was owned by different families and was famous for music shows since 1972. Comedians Tom O’Connor and Maureen Potter regularly performed.

Between June 1997 and June 1998, the castle was closed to turn it into a hotel and this is what we see today. But it was always a famous place to stay.

In 1742 the composer Handel stayed in the castle during his visit to Dublin for the first performance of his great choral work “The Messiah”. The castle is mentioned by the Irish Rock Group “Thin Lizzy” in their song “The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle” on their first album in 1971.

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