After refreshments in the Avoca Café, we were treated to a private tour of Malahide Castle. We learnt that the Castle played a central role in Medieval Irish history. The oldest parts of the castle date back to the 12th century. The building was notably enlarged in the reign of Edward IV, and the towers added circa 1600-1650. The estate survived such losses as the Battle of the Boyne and the Penal Laws. It was home to the Talbot family for almost 800 years (1185 to 1975).
The Castle was built by the Talbots, an English family holding the title Earls of Shrewsbury, who had arrived in England during the Norman invasion with William the Conqueror. Richard Talbot arrived in Ireland in 1174, and in 1185 he was granted the lands and harbour of Malahide by Henry II for his “war-like” services in the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland. The French origin of the name was Tailbois or Talebot, and they had been Barons of Cleuville in Normandy before their arrival in England. Their name is thought to be first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.
After the tour concluded, members were free to explore the extensive grounds. There are some photos in the Gallery section of this website.