In 1228 – Ashford was founded by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family following their defeat of the native O’Connors of Connaught.
In 1589 – after more than three and a half centuries under the de Burgo’s, Ashford passes into the hands of a new owner – the English Lord Bingham, governor of Connaught – who adds a fortified enclave within its precincts.
In 1715 – the Ashford estate was established by the Oranmore and Browne family and a fabulous French style chateau was added to the architectural splendour of the castle.
In 1852 – Ashford’s new owner, Sir Benjamin lee Guinness, extends the estate to 26,000 acres, building new roads, planting thousands of trees and adding two large victorian style extensions.
In 1868 – Sir Benjamin lee Guinness bequeaths Ashford to his son, Lord Ardilaun, an avid gardener who oversees the development of massive woodlands and rebuilds the entire west wing of the castle.
In 1915 – Ashford is retained by the Iveagh trust on behalf of the Guinness family.
In 1939 – Ashford was bought by Noel Huggard who established the castle as a “First Class Hotel”.
In 1951 – The director John Ford comes to the west of Ireland to film what would become a movie classic “The Quiet Man” – starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald.
In 1970 – Ashford Castle is bought by John A. Mulcahy who oversees its complete restoration and expansion, doubling its size, building the golf course and developing the grounds and gardens.
In 1985 – A group of Irish American investors purchase Ashford. In the 16 years since, Ashford has been voted not only one of the best hotels in Ireland by the most discerning guidebooks, but also one of the top 50 resort properties in Europe.
In 2008 – Ashford Castle was bought outright by Galway Entrepreneur and Hotelier Mr Gerry Barrett.
And last week – Marie, Stuart & myself were honoured to be invited down to Ashford Castle…
.. by Paula & Niall, to photograph part of this luxurious 5 Star hotel.
The amazing Oak Hall lobby area was a challenge to light …
.. as the Castle was busy too; however, we were very pleased with this final result:
The George V dining room also took a while to set-up…
.. and light too..
.. but what an amazing room:
So we were slow on this one…
.. but then again…
.. this is one of Ireland’s most prestige Hotels we were being asked to capture…
.. so we wanted it to look just right…
.. by producing a set of images that would complete the dream – of what 5 Star living is all about.
So thanks again to everyone for making this happen – and hopefully we will be back soon, to produce more images for them to use.
From Marie, Stuart & me.