Rathfarnham Castle is situated in the village of Rathfarnham 3 miles south of Dublin. The castle is a large white four storey Georgian house consisting of a square house with towers at each corner, it is set in formal gardens and on part of the estate visitors can see a Roman Triumphal Arch used as the grand entrance.
Legend has it that the ghost of a woman haunts the ballroom. Two suitors decided to incarcerate their loved one behind the ballroom’s wooden panelling, the winner of the duel for her affection would set her free. Unfortunately both of them died and so she remained there for 130 years.
The earlier Irish castle was replaced by the present building built on lands confiscated from the Eustace family of Baltinglass because of their involvement in the Second Desmond Rebellion. The Geraldines defended the Pale from the Irish clans in the nearby Wicklow Mountains. It is believed the present castle was built around 1583 for Archbishop Adam Loftus. Originally a semi-fortified and battlemented structure it underwent extensive alterations in the 18th century
The castle consisted of a square building four stories high with a projecting tower at each corner, the walls of which were an average of 5 feet (1.5 m) thick. On the ground level are two vaulted apartments divided by a wall nearly 10 feet (3.0 m) thick which rises to the full height of the castle. On a level with the entrance hall are the 18th century reception rooms and above this floor the former ballroom, later converted into a chapel.