March 4, 2010
Dublin- Day 4
Oon our 4th day in Dublin, we took another little trip out of the city to Malahide. We walked from the train station to the park around Malahide castle. The weather was a bit drizzly, but we still had a bit of fun walking through the scenic trail.
When we got to the castle we saw that they were doing some construction on the exterior and I was a little worried that they were closed, but we were able to walk around to the side of the castle and managed to make our way to the entrance area. They offered self guided w/ audio tours of the castle at designated times, so we decided to do that. Unfortunately, the art in the castle is on loan from Ireland and can't be photographed, so they didn't allow cameras. I'll have to eloquently describe the rooms for your "viewing" pleasure. We went up a an old spiral (stone) stair to the first sitting room that is the oldest portion of the castle, built in 1185 AD. This room had one set of windows and was a bit long and narrow with dark painted wood paneling in an intricate design. The whole castle had its original furniture and this room had a number of large chests, table, and chairs. The audio guide stated that the cattle would be brought intot he lower level for safe-keeping at night and the family would stay in the level above.
The castle had a number of additions added throughout the years and the style of the rest of the rooms varied from the older more Norman type room to Roccoco styled rooms and finally to Georgian style rooms. We walked through a few rooms with high ceilings, ornate moldings, and gilt chairs. One sitting room had the most impressive inlay work with almost microscopic marble pieces. The technique died with the craftsman as he was jealous of his skill and refused to pass it along.
We went into the large banquest room with a really long banquet table, The ceilings were very high and at one end of the room there was a raised musicians gallery for entertainment. In the corner of the room there is a little door called "Puck's Door" that gives access to the turret room. Puck is the ghost of Malahide. The room reminded me of a more medieval style with dark wood and iron chandelier.
Finally, we toured the bedrooms in the top floor. They had typically clothing form the 19th century, along with toys, displayed in them.
We left the castle and passed the ruins of its chapel and graveyard. Very scenic and romantic, but closed off to tourists.