Featured image of Ashford Castle

The History of Ashford Castle

LocationCong, County Galway, Ireland (Google Maps)
Open for visitorsYes
Owned byGuinness family
Official WebsiteAshford Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Weddings, Events, Meetings)

Ashford Castle is a victorian era castle built in the medieval age, now converted into a 5-star luxury hotel near Cong, in Ireland. It is one of the leading hotels in the world, the only hotel to be listed in Forbes currently owned by the Guinness family.


Ashford Castle is a fantasy medieval fortress. The castle was founded by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O’Connors of Connaught. Ashford remained in the Burgo family’s hands for more than three and a half centuries after it passed onto the hands of Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught when they lost it against them in a fierce battle. The famous Ashford estate that we see today was constructed by the Browne family. The castle underwent a lot of architectural changes in the hands of the Browne family; the most interesting of them all was the French Chateau that was added to the splendor of the castle. A double head was erected on the roof, which represents the coat of arms of the Browne family.

A few years down the road, Ashford castle was purchased by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, who made significant changes in the property; he passed it onto his son Lord Ardilaun who oversaw all the gardening development that we can see around the castle. A few deals were made with the castle, many people purchased it over a span of time. Finally, in May 2013, Ashford Castle was bought by Red Carnation Hotels, who undertook the work of refurbishing the castle premises and was made open to the public for staycations.


Ashford Castle is an 800-year-old castle established in the beautiful County Mayo. The castle is set on a wonderful green cover- a 350-acre estate with landscaped gardens, ancient woodland & an emerald lake. The castle in itself has a rich infrastructure with more than eighty-three traditional & elegant rooms and suites. It is well decked with six restaurants and three bars with a handwoven team of world-renowned chefs and sommeliers. The castle also offers a lot of indoor activities and experiences on the estate. It has an award-winning Spa with five treatment rooms, a sauna, and steam rooms. Though it is impossible to skip the delicious meals offered at their restaurants, there are a few places one can dine like the George V Dining room, Cullen’s Cottage, The Dungeon, etc. A few other nearby attractions include The Royal Abbey of Cong, Monk’s Fishing House, The Quiet Man’s museum, etc.

Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle”, by Theresa O’Connor, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Movie Features

Reign (2013-2017)– A famous TV series created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie Sengupta featured scenes from Ashford Castle. The series revolves around the Queen of Scots that faces political treachery at the hands of the french.

The Quiet Man (1952)– Scenes of the famous 1952 movie, The Quiet Man have been shot at Ashford Castle. Directed by John Ford, this is a story of an American boxer who falls for a redhead.

The O’Briens (2013)– Directed by Richard Waters and Emma Gahan, the movie is about an Irish widower who summons his children to reveal a dark secret.

Remington Steele (1982–1987)– Ashford Castle is featured in the first part of this TV Series created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason.

Richard E. Grant’s Hotel Secrets (2012)– A documentary featuring the Ashford Castle where Richard E. Grant explores some of the world’s most iconic and luxurious hotels.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is Ashford Castle?

Ashford Castle is a medieval and Victorian fortress that has been expanded and turned into a five-star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo-Galway border, on the Galway side of Lough Corrib in Ireland.

  • What has been filmed at Ashford Castle?

A lot of films and TV Series have been filmed at the castle, including the most famous “Reign” (2013) and “The Quiet Man” (1952). Ashford Castle was also featured in a documentary called “Richard E. Grant’s Hotel Secrets” (2012).

  • Who has stayed at Ashford Castle?

Ashford Castle is a Forbes listed Five-star hotel, a lot of eminent personalities have stayed at this historic 350-acre Galway estate which was once home to the Guinness family, including Brad Pitt, John Travolta, Jack Nicholson, and more stars.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.

Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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