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Slane Castle: History and Things To See

The magnificent Slane Castle is set on a 1,500-acre estate, in County Meath. Regarded as a cultural and historical touchstone, the castle is known as one of the most picturesque castles in the emerald isle

Slane Castle: History and Things To See

Slane Castle

Slane Castle History

This fortress is situated in the heart of the Boyne Valley and dates back to the 1700s.

It was Albert Conyngham and his son Major General Henry Conyngham who bought the land where Slane Castle and Slane Distillery is located.

His family and descendants were known as the ones who worked on planning and improving the Village of Slane in 1781.

In 1785, the castle was built by the Conynghams, who was originally from Scotland. The construction was under the supervision of William Burton Conyngham, who employed the collective talents of some of Ireland and England’s most prestigious names in architecture. 

The Castle is one of the most exciting historic buildings in Ireland, with its stunning Gothic and Gothic Revival architectural style.

Its surrounding parklands, meanwhile, were designed by a renowned landscape architect, Capability Brown.

Today, the castle is owned by Henry Conyngham, who transformed the castle grounds into a premier concert venue in the 1980s. A fire in 1991 caused extensive damage to the castle, particularly the part that faced the River Boyne.

It was closed to the public for a decade so it can undergo reconstructions and was reopened in 2001. 

Today, the castle and the estate remains to be a top attraction in the area, as well as a venue for concerts, weddings, and other events. 

Things To Do in Slane Castle

From seeing more of this architectural marvel up close to hiking up a sacred hill, here are some of the best things to do in Slane Castle.

1. Tour the castle

slane castle


Learn more about Slane Castle by joining a guided historical tour of Slane Castle. Find out more about the house that’s regarded as a national icon, as well as the Conyngham family since 1703.

In this tour, visitors will know more about the family that lives in it and the castle’s fascinating architectural history. 

2. Learn more about the Conyngham family

If you are intrigued by family histories and especially those who lived in a castle, this is the perfect thing to do in Slane for you.

The Conyngham family has lived in Slane Castle since 1703, and they are featured in one of the fascinating tours inside the castle.

Learn more about this family’s history through paintings that come alive. Through this tour, visitors get a glimpse of castle life throughout the centuries. 

3. Watch a concert

slane castle

If you happen to visit Ireland in summer and heading towards Slane, how about attending its annual summer concert?

The castle is known today as a tip notch concert venue and has held concerts by acts like Madonna to U2. Concerts are held in the castle grounds, with a capacity of 80,000 people.

If you’re up for a memorable summer, attending a concert is one of the best things to do in Slane Castle in the evening. 

4. Discover Slane Irish Whiskey

Easily the best attraction in Slane Castle, the distillery offers quite a fascinating tour of the area.

Here, visitors will learn more about the art and science of making whiskey in the distillery’s heritage room, barley room, cooperate, and maturation warehouse.

The next stop is a visit to the pot stills and production areas. The tour ends with a taste of their famous triple casked blend, Slane Irish Whiskey.

5. Hike up the Hill of Slane

Hill of Slane

After you have explored the majestic castle, it’s time to enjoy a rewarding hike up the Hill of Slane.

Considered as an important site in Irish history, the Hill of Slane is said to be where St. Patrick lit a Paschal fire.

For hundreds of years, the hill was a center of religious devotion. Up to this day, this is still regarded as a solemn, spiritual place.

On the hill, hikers will find a cemetery, church, and some ruins. At the top, one will enjoy sweeping views of the valley below, as well as lush hills dotted with sheep and tiny villages. 

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