Castletown House is Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house. Built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland. The façade was almost certainly designed by the Italian architect, Alessandro Galilei, while the Irish architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce added the wings. Fortunately the house was saved in 1967 when along with 120 acres of the demesne lands it was purchased by the Hon. Desmond Guinness.
Kildare Visitor Attractions
Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens established in 1946, the Irish National Stud combines an active role in the development and promotion of Irish bloodstock with its role as one of the country's major tourist attractions and it is the only Stud farm in Ireland open to the public. Tully is also home to Japanese Gardens the finest in Europe. Also to be seen at Tully is Saint Fiachra's Garden for its woodland and lakeside walks. A Horse Museum is also onsite, a state of the art modern exhibition where the Sport of Kings comes to life.
Leixlip Castle has always been the centre of Leixlip Built on a rock at the confluence of the River Liffey and the Rye Water was granted to the de Hereford family and dates from the Norman Invasion of 1171 with the round tower added onto the square keep in the 14th Century.
Lodge Park Walled Garden with brick lined north wall of 18th century origin is a plantsman's delight. From the axis of the long walk it features garden rooms, extending to a delightful rosarie. The Steam Museum is housed in the Great Southern & Western Railway Church, re-erected here from Inchicore, Dublin. The Richard Guinness model hall displays his collection of historic prototype locomotive models. The Power Hall displays restored stationary engines working in steam. Interactive area for educational use.
The Straffan Butterfly Farm which is owned and run by Des and Iris Fox has been open to the public every summer since 1986. The butterfly exhibition continues to run every year during the months of June, July and August in Straffan, Co. Kildare, Ireland. This Butterfly Exhibition is an attempt to introduce people to the existence of the world of butterflies that they may not have really known about.