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Powerscourt House

Powerscourt House

Powerscourt House

Powerscourt House (Enniskerry Co. Wicklow) — Where Powerscourt House stands today there was once a 13th century medieval castle, owned by the Le Power Family from which ‘Powerscourt’ takes its name. Powerful Irish families including the O’Tooles and the Fitzgeralds battled for possession of the castle and its lands over the succeeding centuries. In 1603 a new era began at Powerscourt, when Richard Wingfield was granted Powerscourt Castle and its lands as a reward for his military achievements by Queen Elizabeth. The story goes that Marshall Wingfield visited Queen Elizabeth after battle to pay his respects. The Queen said to him: “Well Sir Richard, what is to be your reward?” He bowed, and said “The scarf that Your Majesty wears will be sufficient reward for me.” Upon which the Queen placed the scarf over his shoulder. In addition to the scarf, Richard was knighted and received Powerscourt Estate as his reward. His descendants were to remain at Powerscourt for over 350 years.

 

Tragically in the early hours of 4th November 1974 a fire broke out on the top floor of Powerscourt House and by the morning the main part of the house was a roofless shell. No one was injured, but all of the principal reception rooms and bedrooms were destroyed. The walls of the main house, revealing stonework dating back to the 16th century, stood as a stark reminder of the fire for over twenty years.

 

Restoration work was completed in 1996. Visitors to Powerscourt can also enjoy Tara’s Palace, a museum for children, on the upper floor of the House. Powerscourt House is once again a living, vibrant place for visitors to enjoy. Admission: €5.50 (adult), €5.00 (student) €3.50 (children under 16 years). Free for children under 2 years. Schedules vary – check its website for updated info: www.powerscourt.ie