Shankill Castle is situated in the Southeast of Ireland on the Carlow/Kilkenny border about 130km from Dublin. The Castle which is set in parkland is located in the village of Paulstown in Ireland’s Ancient East. Until 1991 it was the home of the Toler-Aylward family. It is now the home of the distinguished artist Elizabeth Cope. As well as being a residence for the artist the estate is also a working farm and a tourist attraction. Visitors to Shankill Castle can enjoy a walk through the gardens and take a guided tour of the Castle
Shankill Castle was originally a medieval tower-house belonging to the Butlers of Ormonde. The tower-house was built near the ruins of an old church. Elizabeth Butler, an heiress to the estate, married Peter Aylward of Waterford around 1700. Aylward purchased the estate from his wife’s family. Between 1708 and 1713 he refurbished and extended the tower-house to look much as it does today. The new building called Shankill Castle was built in the English Baroque architectural style common in the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714).
The Castle was set in a formal landscape some of which still survives today. The gardens, which are described as an oasis of tranquillity, include 18th century lime alles and 19th century laurel lawns. Gigantic sequoias from the Victorian era can be seen in the grounds. Three trees in the gardens of Shankill Castle are listed in the Tree Registry of Ireland. When Mary Aylward of Shankill Castle married Reverened Peter Toler from Roscommon in 1835 the family name became Toler-Aylward. The couple had two children Merial Elizabeth Toler-Aylward and Hector James Charles Toler-Aylward
Hector James Charles Toler-Aylward who served a Justice of the Peace for Kilkenny died in the year 1918 On This Day
Shankill Walk by Bernie Goldbach on 2005-04-24 13:46:58