Grange Castle, Co. Kildare

Grange Castle, County Kildare, in March 1986. The recent history of Grange Castle is a sorry tale.

When we visited it in 1986, we called into the owner, Mr. Tyrell, aged 81, who lived in the nearby Ballindoolin House, to ask for his permission to view his castle. A charming man, he told us how he had been trying to leave the castle to the State for over 13 years with no success. It was finally made over to the State in 1988. A trust was set up to restore the property and it was to be opened to the public. Much good work was done, until the venture came to an abrupt and sorry end. The result: most of the good work was vandalised and it has reverted back to a ruinous state.

We noted at the time that it was “an interesting small tower of four floors, including the ground floor. The timber floors had collapsed. There was a narrow spiral stairs. 2 garderobes and a slop sink. Later parapet and 3 Elizabethan/Jacobean chimney stacks, 2 were apparently fake. Shot holes”.

There was a small yard with stone outbuildings, walled garden, single storey small 3 roomed classical style house attached, with the Tyrell coat of arms over the front door. A little gem of a property.

Mr. Tyrell informed us that Grange Castle had not been destroyed in Cromwellian times, because his family helped a sick Cromwellian soldier. In 1986, they still owned the soldier’s bible.