Carthy’s Castle, Montpelier Hill

McCarthy’s Castle, the Long House, Dolly Mount, Montpelier House, or as I tend to call it, Carthy’s Castle, was never a Castle or ever belonged to anyone named Carthy or McCarthy that anyone knows of. Then again, The Hellfire Club charges no membership fees, isn’t actually Hell, and is rarely on fire these days, so names aren’t always descriptions. It was built as a Hunting Lodge in the 18th Century by Henry Loftus, Earl of Ely, and owner of nearby Rathfarnham Castle among other things, and it was indeed very long, guarded each end by one of these three-story towers made to look like a castle.

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As this sketch from Ball’s A History of County Dublin (1905) shows, it really must have been a visually stunning building, especially when you see how impressive the minimal remains are today.
Neither Carthy nor Castle; Carthy’s Castle, Killakee. February 2017.


The House interiors boasted some of the finest materials and design available contemporaneously, including intricate stuccoed ceilings and marble fireplaces. Similar to its nearest neighbour, the Hellfire Club, the owners didn’t stay too long in Dolly Mount, as they called it, after their niece Dolly Monroe, and a few years after it was built they vacated it for the final time, leaving it to gently slump into its ruinous decay.

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Circa 1950, not long before the bulk of the House was torn down, sadly.



If you like ruins then it is a very nice one to visit, however, it is quite difficult to get to, despite how it might seem on your map. It is a fairly long slog down to it and not too easy to negotiate access. It appears to be on private land yet I was able to walk from the Hellfire Hill all the way there without hopping a fence, going through a gate or even reading a Keep Out type sign, which was nice. Wellies are essential, and the trudge back uphill is at times very steep. 
Ancillary building to the South East of the Tower. Behind the Tower are several large round Threshing devices that are now so covered in undergrowth that it is very difficult to make them out.




Looking up at the glass ceiling. February 2017.
All the bumps and ruins seen from a distance really give an idea as to how big and domineering this place must have looked in its time.
Like a Knight of olde, gaping after battle with many wounds, the mighty Tower holds an air of dignity and fortitude despite it’s weakened state.

Some of the views available on the walk between the crest of Montpelier Hill and the decent towards Carthy’s Castle. February 2017.

The holes in the wall seem to indicate where the staircase might have been.
It is not just the Hellfire Club that contains magic, though this is definitely not black.

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