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What Is Ashford Castle?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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The over 700-year-old Ashford Castle is located in Mayo, Ireland, and has changed hands several times over the centuries. It was turned into a hotel in 1939. The stone castle sits on more than 350 acres (142 hectares) and has dozens of rooms. There are many activities to partake in, ranging from golf and archery to dining and spa treatments. Visitors can stay at the five-star rated castle or book a variety of events there.

Ashford Castle was founded in 1228 by the de Burgo family. In 1589, Lord Bingham took ownership of it, and in 1715, the estate was established by the Browne and Oranmore family. By 1852, the new owner became Sir Benjamin lee Guinness, who left it to his son Lord Ardilaun in 1868. In 1939, Noel Huggard bought it followed by John Mulcahy in 1970. Gerry Barrett, a hotelier and entrepreneur, purchased it in 2008.

In 1715, a French-style chateau was added to the original architecture of Ashford Castle. It went through a huge renovation in 1852 when the estate was expanded. Part of the expansion included adding two large extensions, planting thousands of trees and adding more roads. In 1868, the west wing of the castle was rebuilt. Noel Huggard established it as a hotel in 1939.

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There are 78 rooms to stay in at Ashford Castle and five suites. The estate sits on 350 acres (142 hectares) right on Lough Corrib lake and is next to the River Cong. The gardens that surround the castle are basically the same designs that were in place since the mid-1800's. Some of the rooms have dramatic 15-foot (4.5-meter) high ceilings.

A variety of activities are available at Ashford Castle including several restaurants and a bar. There's a nine-hole, 2,996-yard (2,739-meter) golf course, a fitness center and an equestrian center. Visitors can partake in falconry and clay pigeon shooting. They can also fish and take lake cruises or tour the gardens. For a bit of relaxation, guests can visit the five-star spa located on the grounds.

Visitors can stay at Ashford Castle in one of the 83 rooms. The castle hosts weddings and has two churches located in and around the grounds. It also has corporate facilities and hosts conferences. Guests can make reservations through its website or by calling. For up-to-date information, potential visitors can follow Ashford Castle on one of its social networking sites or by perusing its website.

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