If you have the chance to visit Malahide, you must walk the grounds of Malahide Castle and take a tour of the castle. The castle itself originated in the late 1100's from the Talbots (which ruled the castle from 1185 - 1976). The castle is beautifully decorated, with many original pieces of furniture, paintings, etc -- walking through some rooms, you are taken back 250 years in the blink of an eye.
The tour itself takes about 45mins to an hour. My wife and I's guide - Aiden - was excellent, personable and very knowledgeable on the history past and present of the castle and grounds. The price was cheap for the tour, and we came early in the morning, and had the whole tour to ourselves.
Also, Malahide Castle is the most haunted castle in Ireland, having a minimum of five ghosts. The ghost of Miles Corbet -- who briefly ran the castle in the reign of Oliver Cromwell -- is one of the ghosts, who was executed for signing the death warrant of King Charles I. Corbet was quartered, hanged and drawn, and is now said to haunt the castle in a suit of armour, especially on the anniversary of his death.
The other famous ghost -- who Aiden had spoken of when we were on the tour -- was that of Puck of Malahide. He was a dwarf jester who stood watch over prisoners at Malahide castle. King Henry VIII had sent Lady Fitzgerald as a prisoner, and rumours spread that Puck and Fitzgerald were lovers, and then that they were planning a revolt. To quiet these rumours, the Talbots supposedly murdered Puck (they had claimed Puck committed suicide by stabbing himself, but this is probably not the case). Puck is seen as a friendly ghost, though, and has never hurt anyone, though he has been sighted numerous times over the years, and has appeared in some photos as well.
All in all, this is a place that cannot be missed. If you are into the history of Ireland, architecture and design, or even ghosts, everyone will enjoy this castle. We would definitely visit again when we return to Malahide.
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