Access to Farmleigh house and estate is granted by guided tours.
Farmleigh house and estate began as a small two-storey Georgian house built in the late 18th century. The house was purchased by Edward Cecil Guinness, the great grandson of the Brewery founder Arthur Guinness, after his marriage in 1873. It is situated on an elevated position above the River Liffey to the north-west of the Phoenix Park, in Castleknock.
From 1881 the house underwent a series of reforms and extensions, like a ball room. By the early 20th century the house had all the amenities for stylish living and entertainment. The interior was decorates with a classical style with influenced by the Jacobean, Louis XV and Louis XVI. Farmleigh Bridge was added to the estate in the 1870s to carry electricity lines from the mill race turbine on the Strawberry Beds to the house.
In 1999 the Irish Government purchased the Farmleigh house and estate from the Guinness family for 29.2 million euros. The house was then rehabilitated and redesigned to become the Irish State guest house and accommodate high level government meetings. The Office of Public Works spent €23 million restoring the house, gardens and curvilinear glasshouses, bringing the total cost to the state to €52.2 million. Farmleigh house and estate was opened to the public in July 2001.
Farmleigh has over 78 acres and contains a working farm. The farm consists of a Herd Kerry cattle all given to the Farmleigh estate in March 2002. These cattle are very eye catching due to their shiny black coats and magnificent horns. There are as well two horses and four donkeys – given by the Donkey Sanctuary in Cork.
Access to the house is granted by guided tours.
Tours operate between 10:00 and 17:30 with the last entry at 16:30.
For more information go to Farmleigh House