Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford

Another truly magnificent castle I have been visiting in April was a Gothic Revival Johnstown Castle located in County Wexford.

Johnstown Castle is located on the Johnstown Castle Estate, a 150 acres (61 ha) estate. Located off the road between Murntown and Rathaspeck, 5.5 km southwest of Wexford town.

Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens is Wexford’s greatest surviving country estate which is open for guided tours. But to avoid disappointment you have to book a Castle tour before.

There is a visitor center in the castle courtyard including an extensive shop specializing in local products. And a 120-seat café with an outdoor terrace. No booking is required to enjoy the Ornamental Gardens and Walks or the Irish Agricultural Museum.

The first castle built on the estate was a tower house. Built-in the late 12th century by the Esmonde family. Normans came to southeast Ireland from Lincolnshire in the 1170s after the Norman invasion of Ireland (1169). They also built a tower house, which still stands, at Rathlannan immediately to the south.

The ruins of Rathlannon Castle are situated on the grounds of Johnstown Castle Estate.

In 1692 Johnstown Castle was bought by the Grogan family. The Grogans later married into the ancient FitzGerald family. Lady Maurice FitzGerald, wife of Lord Maurice FitzGerald was the last owner to live in the house.

In 1945, Maurice Victor Lakin gave the estate to the Irish state in lieu of taxes. It was taken over by Teagasc and used for agricultural research. While the castle was used for offices and laboratories before opening to the public in 2019.

Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens opened in the summer of 2019 as a brand new ‘3 in 1’ visitor attraction.

And it is a significant addition to Irish tourism and Ireland’s Ancient East. Conservation and upgrading works on the Gothic Revival Castle have been undertaken. And guided tours are now available for the first time on a daily basis. Including the unique servants’ tunnel an incredible 86 meters long.

The Irish Agricultural Museum is housed in the former estate’s farm buildings. And displays one of the most comprehensive displays of farming and rural life in Ireland.

The Castle at Johnstown is a gem of Gothic revival architecture, surrounded by spectacular ornamental grounds designed by Daniel Robertson.

The three spectacular lakes, walled gardens, Gothic towers, and sculptures all offer the setting for this great 19th-century castle. Visitors can enjoy walks in the woodlands and around the almost 5-acre Castle Lake. The ornamental gardens and hothouses, covering 4 acres, originally designed in the mid-1800s, still retain their early design today.

Johnstown Castle resembles in appearance Duckett’s Grove in County Carlow.

The estate has been described as a must-visit attraction in Wexford that reinforces Ireland’s Ancient East as a world-class destination.

The Castle is open all year: 17 March to 31 October 9 am – 5 pm and 1 November to 16 March 9 am – 4 pm.

For more information visit:


Below are photos I took in April 2022.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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