Monday, 11 November 2013

Castletown House with the Irish Historical Costumers Group - Part II

Finally to put up the rest of my photos from our costumed visit to the Castletown House in Celbridge Kildare! Here's a group shot outside the stables (now visitors' entrance) at Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house and home of Thomas Conolly, an 18th century Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.
group shot Victorian and Regency costumes Castletown House

 And a close-up of Laura in her pretty hat.
Laura Thorp, blue Victorian bustle dress, Castletown House

Then into the house led by our tour guide Linda. This shot is behind the original main entrance, which is now generally kept shut.
tour guide Linda, Castletown House

Get the cameras out:
tour Castletown House, Victorian costumes

It was fashionable in the 18th century for well-to-do ladies to set aside a small room and decorate it with meticulously collected cut-out prints. This Print Room in Castletown House, decorated by Thomas Conolly's wife Lady Louisa Lennox Connolly and her friends, is a fine example of the English 18th century style. I have since read a bit on the subject from the Regency Redingote blog, quite interesting!
18th century English Georgian print room, Castletown House Kildare
18th century English Georgian print room, Castletown House Kildare

The formidable bed.
18th century Georgian bed, Castletown House Kildare
Apparently this would have been the place for a governor to hold court in the morning, sitting in the bed (I hope I'm remembering it right), although I seem to recall hearing Linda saying also that Conolly didn't actually use it - alas, I'm afraid I haven't come away as enriched with historical details as I should have, being not so good at multitasking after all, when I was being distracted with photo opportunities (poor Linda did give us permission to let our eyes and minds wander a bit, as we were in costume and couldn't help taking pictures of one another; I did feel very ashamed).

For instance, I had to beg Miss Marja-Kristina to model for me. Isn't it quite "Country House"?
window at Castletown House Kildare

I also liked these portraits, which I think are likely to be of Thomas Conolly's relatives (he had no direct descendent and the house was therefore passed to his nephew in 1729).
portraits at Castletown House Kildare

 Mainly because of this:
conjoined twins or ghost portrait, Castletown House Kidare
At first glance, I definitely took it for more than what it is!

We took a stroll outside after lunch. There are our new friends Valerie and her niece at the near back here, who shared the tour with us.

And did I mention that the we were given our own changing room for our group tour at Castletown House? Nice.

 Now changed back to day outfit.

I would definitely recommend Castletown House if you are planning a day out with something to see, whether coming from locally or outside of Ireland, and especially if you are in the least attracted to historical establishments or Georgian architecture. The entrance for adults is just 4.50 Euro, and it's only about 30/40 minutes by bus from Dublin city centre, which is so convenient much nearer than I had expected. There are plenty of space outside and extensive grounds for sitting or walking around (we were hoping to do a picnic, except the weather let us down slightly), and the local Celbridge Village looks like a great place with little shops and restaurants. The food at the cafe/restaurant leaves a little something to be desired, but it's still very decent (the pecan brownies were pretty good) and it's a lovely bright space.

I've been wanting to visit again but now have to wait until next March, as the House is closed for the winter months (you can find their schedule on the visitors website). However, I will be seeing the ladies from the Historical Costumer Group very soon - this Saturday actually! We are having tea at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire - costumed, of course. Please have a look if you might be interested to join this one or any future events.

I have a bunch of new updates to post - a few photoshoots, outings and events, including the wedding. Can't wait!

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