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Photographer's Note

"Malahide Castle is very unique in Ireland because the Talbot family managed to keep control of the castle for 791 years. The Talbot family began their reign in 1185 and ended in 1976 despite a short interlude, 1649 to 1660, while Cromwell marched through Ireland. The lands and harbor of Malahide were granted to Richard Talbot in 1185, one of the knights who arrived in Ireland with Henry II in 1174. According to Burke's Peerage, Richard Talbot or de Talbot was the common ancestor of the Lords of Malahide and of the Earls of Shrewsbury.

The history of the Talbot family is recorded in the Great Hall,where portraits of generations of the family tell their own story of Ireland's stormy history. Many additions and alterations have been made to this romantic and beautiful structure, but the contours of the surrounding parklands have changed little in 800 years,retaining a sense of the past. Malahide Castle is operated by Dublin Tourism Attractions in conjunction with Fingal County Council. The hall of the castle is one of the purest specimens of Norman architecture but it is not known whether it dates from the reign of Henry IV or from that of Edward IV when the original building was considerably enlarged and embellished. The circular towers flanking the facade were added in 1765.

At the heart of the medieval castle is the Oak Room, approached by a winding stone staircase and lit by Gothic windows added in 1820 when the room was enlarged and the front hall below was created. The room is lined with carved oak from floor to ceiling, representing scriptural subjects, now black with age and polishing. Some of the carving is of Flemish origin, including six panels representing biblical scenes opposite the window; their religious theme suggests that the Talbots, who remained Roman Catholics until 1774, used this room as a chapel in penal times. Over the mantelpiece is a fine representation of the coronation of the Blessed Virgin which according to tradition disappeared when Cromwell seized the Castle and miraculously sprang back to it's place when the Talbots were reinstated."
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Additional Photos by Paul Kelly (pk4dk) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 37 W: 5 N: 52] (368)
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