Our last find in Phoenix Park was Ashtown Castle. It’s a fortified house next to the visitor’s centre. The lawn was absolutely brimming with people. There is a little maze that children were absolutely in love with. I don’t think I’ve seen so many push-chairs (buggies) in one place, other than maybe the push-chair store. It is a very nice place for a picnic, though.
Ashtown Castle was discovered in the late 1970s in the grounds of a much larger building. As the larger building had dry rot it was demolished, but Ashtown Castle remained intact. The larger complex had been the residence of the Papal Nuncio until 1978, think ambassador to Ireland for the Pope.
The castle probably dates to 1641 as it is built to the conventions of a government incentive – £10 to those who built a castle for their security. The Georgian windows, however are a new edition. Supposedly there were also a set of tunnels connecting this castle to other buildings on the estate. I wonder if there are still any tunnels down there?
But going back to the £10, that’s about the amount of cash I have in my wallet. This interests me because I am going up to Belfast today! I’m not looking forward to it in any way (mainly due to living in a hostel). Fortunately Tiernan’s and my bank cards arrived from Northern Ireland earlier this week and I have a tax number appointment in the afternoon. I’ve been thinking about how many times in the last two years I’ve had to set up bank accounts and get tax numbers – three times too many!
Well, I’d better go double check my things. If you don’t hear from me on Monday… send out a search party.