Glin Castle, home for 800 years of the FitzGerald family, hereditary Knights of Glin, stands proudly in the middle of its 400 acre wooded demesne on the banks of the Shannon. The toy-fortress like quality is echoed by three sets of battlemented Gothic folly lodges.
The present Glin Castle which succeeds the medieval ruin in the village of Glin was built in the late 18th century with entertaining in mind. The entrance hall with a screen of Corinthian pillars has a superb Neo-classical plaster ceiling and the enfilade of reception rooms are filled with a unique collection of Irish 18th century mahogany furniture. Family portraits and Irish pictures line the walls, and the library bookcase has a secret door leading to the hall and the very rare flying staircase.
After a stroll in the wonderful pleasure grounds, the Sitting room with a crackling wood fire makes an ideal cosy gathering place for drinks before dinner.
The Dining room windows catch the setting sun reflected in the river in the evenings. The room is filled with baronial oak furniture and a gallery of former Knights including a number of notable eccentrics such as ‘the Knight of the Women’ and the ‘Big Knight’. Across the hall, the Drawing room has an Adam period ceiling, a beautiful Bossi marble chimneypiece with open fire and six long windows which overlook the croquet lawn - the perfect setting for after dinner coffee and conversation.
Upstairs there are 15+ ensuite bedrooms. Colourful rugs and chaise longues stand at the end of comforting plump beds. Pictures and blue and white porcelain adorn the walls. The bedrooms at the back of the castle overlook the garden, while those at the front have a view of the river.
There are two kitchens: a commercial kitchen which can cater for up to eighty people; and a family kitchen with Aga and Irish country furniture.
There are extensive gardens with 15 acres of pleasure grounds surrounded by formal lawns, a picturesque stream, meadow, winding gravel walks and ancient oak trees. The walled kitchen garden is full of charm, with romantic borders, rose arches and a vegetable and herb plot. Adjoining it is the original stone and cobbled stable yard. The castle also has its own tennis court, hot tub and croquet lawn.
There is a strenuous 5 Kilometre walk known as ‘The Knight’s Walk’, which begins at the entrance to the drive, and runs up the hill to a platform where on a clear day the view stretches down to the mouth of the Shannon and back towards Limerick.