Over 300 years of stories

Situated in the stunningly beautiful Boyne valley overlooking the River Boyne just a few miles upstream from the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne.

The Castle itself is one of the most exciting historic buildings on the island and displays the collective talents of some of Ireland and England’s most distinguished architects. The parklands were laid out by the distinguished landscape architect, Capability Brown.

Slane Castle Crest
Slane Castle view from between trees
The front doors of Slane Castle

Historical Architecture

Slane Castle in its existing form was reconstructed under the direction of William Burton Conyngham, together with his nephew the first Marquess Conyngham. The reconstruction dates back to 1785 and is principally the work of: James Gandon, James Wyatt and Francis Johnston. Francis Johnston, one of Ireland’s most distinguished architects, is responsible for the dramatic gothic gates on the Mill Hill.

A table set for dinner in historic setting
Slane Castle Ballroom set up wtih tables
The front doors of Slane Castle
A view from a window showing a driveway in the distance

A Noble Beginning

The Conyngham’s are originally a noble Scottish family, and settled in Ireland in 1611 in Co. Donegal. There has been an active association between the Conynghams and the Slane Estate dating back over 300 years, ever since the property was purchased by the family following the Williamite Confiscations in 1703.

A Musical History

In the last quarter of a century, music has become central to the tradition of Slane. For years, it has played host to the Festival in Great Irish Houses, but it is for the fabulous open air Rock Concerts in the great natural amphitheatre below the Castle that it has become internationally renowned.

Acts such as U2, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Guns ‘N Roses, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, David Bowie, Queen and REM have performed in Slane. U2, uniquely, have performed three times at the venue – playing support to the renowned Irish band, Thin Lizzy, who headlined Slane with their charismatic singer, Phil Lynott at the first show in 1981.

Musical Journey

In 1984 the band lived in the Castle while they were recording ‘The Unforgettable Fire’. The Drawing Room was converted into a recording studio and one of the videos for ‘Pride’ was filmed in the unique Gothic Revival Ballroom which was created for George IV’s State Visit in 1821. It was all part of the special musical journey of the Castle.

An Unforgettable Fire

In 1991 tragedy struck. A real Unforgettable Fire took place. A third of the building was destroyed and the rest of the Castle was severely damaged. It took a decade to painstakingly restore it and it has now returned to its former glory and it is a thriving venue for weddings, business conferences and other gatherings.

I hope that soon you get to experience some of the magic, mysticism and romance that is part of the rich tapestry that envelopes Slane Castle. Read more about the Restoration »