A Castle in Miniature

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Located in the middle of the Phoenix Park, Dublin, the grand-sounding Ashtown Castle is really a diminutive tower house likely dating from the beginning of the 17th century. After the park was created in the 1660s it became a residence for one of the two keepers before being upgraded around 1760 to that of the Ranger. From 1785 the building served as a lodge for the Under-Secretary for Ireland and was gradually enlarged by successive occupants. In the aftermath of Independence it became the Papal Nunciature, remaining such until 1979 after which the property suffered years of neglect before the additions were demolished and the original tower house left standing: incidentally the footprint of the now-gone lodge can be traced in the low box hedging that surrounds three sides of Ashtown Castle.

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