Lambay Castle is the ancestral home of the Revelstokes, Maude & Cecil Baring, and is still in the family today, four generations later. The original Old Fort was built in the late 15th / early 16th Century by order of the church, after Lambay had become “a receptacle for the king’s enemies, much to the annoyance of the mainland”.
The Castle is made up of two elements: the Old Fort (dating back to C.15-16th) and the Lutyens Guest Wing, built in 1908-1910. Referred to as one of Lutyens’ finest examples of domestic architecture, the two sections of Lambay Castle complement each other perfectly and are seamlessly, almost invisibly, connected by a long central corridor that runs beneath the East Terrace.
The original fort remains virtually unchanged, and the exquisite Arts & Craft interiors throughout compliment the original architecture while adding comfort and a surprisingly contemporary feel. In the Old Fort, modest antechambers lead into a striking dining room with open hearth and vaulted ceiling; an adjacent living room boasts extraordinary arches and fireplaces framed in blue-grey limestone from Milverton Quarry to match the sofas and armchairs, and offset by bold orange silk cushions.
There are four exquisite double bedrooms across the Castle, each varying in style but all retaining the original furniture selected or designed by Ned Lutyens. The ancient bathrooms have enormous baths dating back to 1910, stunning hand-painted tiles from the Netherlands and elegant pewter collections belonging to the Baring family for over four generations. There are also four single bedrooms with elegant wooden Lutyens beds and distinctive fireplaces, and a self-contained apartment in the centre of the Castle with two further double bedrooms and a bathroom. In total 10 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a shower room, and 4 additional WCs.
The Castle kitchen is very spacious with plenty of larder space, a large fridge/freezer and LaCanche range with two ovens. The Breakfast Room connects via an arch and has beautiful high ceilings, plenty of natural light, a large wood-burning stove and an exquisite pottery collection of plates decorating one wall. The original oak table comfortably seats 8-10.
In 1912 Lutyens completed his Castle by encircling it with a magnificent rampart wall made from the island porphyry stone. This allowed for the enchanting sycamore and oak woods to thrive behind its protection. The wall offered shelter not just against the elements but also symbolically against the stern judgments of London society, and so Lutyens nicknamed his wall “The Ramparts Against Uncharity”.
Lambay Castle is tucked away within an enchanting Sycamore and Oak wood, which shelters behind an impressive circular Rampart wall. The wall was built in 1912 to complete Lutyens’ masterpiece and creates an oasis of tranquility and stillness in which the trees and luscious undergrowth thrive. To one side stands the family Mausoleum, also designed by Lutyens to house the body of Maude Baring when she died at a young age. This magical corner overlooks the Castle and presides majestically over the woodland. Today it is also the resting place of Cecil, their son Rupert Revelstoke, and their grandsons John and James Baring.
From the Castle you can walk straight up the East Terrace and into the hills. The summit is a half kilometre walk and it takes about 25 minutes to reach the triangulation pillar which marks the highest point of the island at 123m above sea level. From here the view stretches out for miles in all directions, with the coastline from Dublin up to the Skerries and Rockabill clearly visible on one side; the enormity of the island and the beautiful blue Irish Sea stretching away on the other.
Lambay Castle is surrounded by a 200 acre cattle and sheep farm, with the island estate reaching over 660 acres in total. The island is completely off-grid so electricity, hot water and heating for the Castle are all self-generated from a wind turbine and solar panels with a generator in case back up is required.