Situated just 25km west of Dublin, Maynooth is Ireland's only university town.
The historic town has, at either end of the main street, Maynooth Castle and Carton House two former seats of the Dukes of Leinster. The great stone castle was founded in the early 13th century and became the principal residence of the Kildare branch of the Geraldines. The Kildare FitzGeralds extended their land holdings and influence, emerging as one of the most powerful families in Ireland with Maynooth Castle being one of the largest and richest Earl's houses. Garret Mór, known as the Great Earl of Kildare, governed Ireland in the name of the King of England from 1487 - 1513 and under his son, Garret Og the 9th Earl, the Castle became the centre of political power and culture. The castle was overrun in 1535, after the rebellion of the Earl.
Carton House has seen many changes over the centuries. The first record of a house at Carton was in the 17th century when William Talbot, Recorder of the city of Dublin was given a lease of the lands by the 14th Earl of Kildare. In 1739, Richard Castle was employed by the 19th Earl of Kildare to build the existing house after it was bought by the 19th Earl of Kildare. In 1747 James the 20th Earl of Kildare, married Lady Emily Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond and great-granddaughter of the English King Charles II, who played an important role in the development of the house and estate as it is today. She created the Chinese room (bedroom to Queen Victoria) and decorated the famous Shell Cottage on the estate with shells from around the world. One of Emily's 23 children was the famous Irish Patriot Lord Edward FitzGerald, leader of the 1798 rebellion. Today Carton House is a luxury hotel and spa.
The most important historical buildings in the town are within the University campus, some of which were built before the foundation of the college, while others are in the late Georgian and neo-Gothic revival style. The "new range" of university buildings were erected by A.W.N.Pugin, one of the most distinguished British architects of the nineteenth century.
Today, Maynooth is a thriving market town full of shops and business, restaurants and bars, pubs and clubs.
Being a Univeristy town, Maynooth is known for it's warm and friendly nature. The town is always buzzing with people, either going out to lunch, going to work or on their way to grab a pint with their friends. Although Maynooth is a small town, it certainly doesn't insinuate that there isn't an assortment of places to go for whatever reason.
Maynooth always has and continues to obtain high quality restaurants as well as high quality boutiques to shop. Lets not forget it's fare share of clubs and pubs to hang out in too.
Wherever you want to go, it's only a couple of minutes away, that's the beauty of pocket sized town, nothing is too far - visit.
A short train or bus ride will take you to the heart of Dublin City. Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and is Ireland’s largest city. It is located on the east coast of Ireland, overlooking Dublin Bay. Dublin City is surrounded by the greater Dublin area or Dublin County where the visitor can find an abundance of picturesque seaside villages, rolling mountains and rural hinterland, all within half an hour of the city centre.
For comprehensive information and listings for Dublin accommodation, activities, events, tourist attractions and things to do Visitdublin.com is operated by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority.