The history of Castle Coole

The oval saloon is lavishly decorated
The lavishly decorated Saloon is the focal point of the house National Trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel

Castle Coole is one of the greatest neo- classical country houses in Ireland. Built to impress by the first Earl of Belmore between 1789- 97, it still has the ability to leave people in awe.

A Palace in the Park

When the first Earl of Belmore built Castle Coole, no expense was spared. He employed James Wyatt to design the house, being one of the most popular architects of his day. A neo-classical palace was created, with a façade of Portland stone and beautifully proportioned interiors. This combined with plaster work by Joseph Rose makes Castle Coole a masterpiece both inside and out.

Spring is a a fantastic time to visit Castle Coole when everything is coming to life
The front facade of Castle Coole and spring wildflower meadow
National Trust / Robert Morris

Various craftsmen were employed from accross Ireland and Europe to fit the interior of the house, from the stone floors to the marble fireplaces to the detailed painted leather door panels. 

Furnishings fit for a King

To add to the splendour the Second Earl of Belmore commissioned furniture from Preston’s of Dublin in 1807, in lavish French Empire style. Preston’s also made the most extravagant piece of furniture in the house, the State bed, which was commissioned for the visit of George IV in 1821, although in the end he never visited Castle Coole meaning the ornate decration has stayed in perfect condition.

The State Bedroom at Castle Coole was fitted for a King
The State Bedroom at Castle Coole
National Trust / Andreas von Einsiedel

Designed for entertaining and to make a statement Castle Coole certainly has the wow factor. The National Trust was able to open the basement of Castle Coole as part of the tour, so as well as being able to see the entertaining rooms, visitors can also experience the day to day life of a servant at Castle Coole.

Come along to Castle Coole and take a tour of the house to experience the grandeur for yourself, and enjoy the surroundings fit for a King.