A History of the Cashel Palace Hotel
The Cashel Palace Hotel was built in 1730 by Archbishop Theophilus Bolton. It was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce who was also the Architect of the Old Parliament House in Dublin, which is now the Bank of Ireland, College Green.
In style, it can be placed between Queen Anne and Early Georgian. The Cashel Palace Hotel is faced with red brick to the front and with limestone at the rear, making it a very rare and unusual feature for the period.
A crowned harp is to be found over the entrance, this is a fire mark issued by the Hibernian Insurance Company of Dublin who was in business from 1771 to 1839. They were the first company in Ireland to transact Fire Insurance.
The large entrance hall retains its original wood paneling, with two Corinthian columns. The magnificent staircase off the entrance hall is of Red Pine, in an early Georgian style with an intricate foliate design and superb examples of ‘barley sugar’ Banisters. This staircase leads to the upper floors where a selection of elegant, individually decorated bedrooms are offered.
Some of these rooms were damaged during the Wolf Tone Rebellion of 1798. They were remodeled after 1800 in the Regency Style by the 1st Earl of Normanton, the then Archbishop of Cashel.
Following a decision by Archbishop Richard Lawrence to transfer the Diocesan headquarters to Waterford in 1833 the Palace was divided for use by the Dean of Cashel and a Canon of the Church of Ireland. The decision was made by the Church to sell the property in 1959 and in May 1962 it was first opened as a Luxury Hotel by Lord Brockett, who also owned the Wicklow Hotel in Dublin and Benner’s Hotel in Tralee at that time.
To the rear of the Palace are beautiful gardens, which include two ancient Mulberry Trees planted in 1702 to commemorate the Coronation of Queen Anne. The gardens also contain the descendants of the original hop plants used by Richard Guinis, an agent for Archbishop Price of Cashel in the 1740’s to brew the first “Wine of Ireland”.
Mr. Guinis and his son Arthur went on to brew this beer in Dublin and to found the famous Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate. The garden also contains a private walk (The Bishops Walk) to the Rock of Cashel, the 13th Century Cathedral and the ancient seat of the Kings of Munster.
The Palace is described as “a place of notable hospitality” in Loveday’s Tour of 1732, a description which we feel applies today also.
We trust you will enjoy the History of the Cashel Palace Hotel, and should you require more information about the Hotel or any of the antiques, objects d’art, or paintings used to furnish it please do not hesitate to ask.