The OPW is undertaking a public survey of people’s views on the current challenges at Castletown House and Estate. We would be delighted to receive your feedback.
The survey is available until 6 February, 2024. See below for further information and links to the survey.
Castletown is one of OPW’s most visited heritage sites in Ireland. The popularity
of Castletown can be attributed to the beautifully restored parklands, gardens,
wildflower meadows, river and forest walks in a unique historical and
architectural setting, as well as the varied programme of events on site, and close
proximity and connectivity to the capital and neighbouring towns.
The OPW has been managing Castletown House since the property and some
immediately adjacent lands were donated to the State in 1994. Since then the
OPW has significantly invested into the conservation, restoration and cultural and
recreational amenities at this important heritage site. Over time, the OPW has
also acquired additional lands that formed part of the original estate, where they
became available, to reunite the historic demesne. The OPW wishes to continue
acquiring suitable lands where they become available.
However, in 2023, 235 acres of lands around Castletown House were sold on the
open market. The State was unsuccessful in its efforts to acquire these lands
which are now in private ownership. The OPW subsequently entered negotiations
with the new owners regarding the terms of a licence which, since 2007, has
ensured access to Castletown House and Parklands from the M4 motorway.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to agree reasonable and feasible terms for
The landowner has the right to choose how they manage their land. Since 29th September 2023, the private landowner has withdrawn permission for Castletown Estate staff, people contracted by the OPW to carry out works on the House and Estate, deliveries to the café and house and other similar work, to cross their lands. The official (and currently only) entrance to Castletown House and all State owned lands is via the Celbridge Gate and Lime Avenue. The OPW is aware that the community continues to access the lands through the M4 entrance.
Information on the ongoing situation is available here
The OPW continues to work closely with Kildare County Council and An Garda
Síochána to ensure that visitors have access to the site.
This survey is being carried out by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in partnership with SYSTRA, an independent research organisation.
In order to offer a wide variety of events in 2024, to re-open Castletown House to guided tours in March 2024, and to procure a new café operator, the OPW must plan, recruit staff and open bookings. The OPW cannot make plans for 2024 until suitable solutions are found for staff, essential contractors and visitors.
The OPW want to work with the community to find a solution which works for both local residents and visitors to Castletown House and Estate. The OPW see this survey as the start of the conversation with the community, and an open opportunity for you to have your say. Further surveys may be undertaken as necessary over the coming months.
As Castletown House and Estate are maintained by the OPW on behalf of the people of Ireland, this survey is open for anyone over the age of 18 to complete and give their views.