The first recorded reference to the church of Oughterard occurs in a list of the deaneries of the diocese of Dublin in the latter part of the thirteenth century. This list revealed that Oughterard belonged to the common fund of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
It overlooks the house where Arthur Guinness produced his first ‘pint’ at Bishopscourt. It is here, in the grounds of Oughterard church, that the remains of Arthur Guinness are buried. Local folklore relates that a dual took place at this site between Daniel O’Connell (one of Ireland’s most famous sons and parliamentarians) and a gentlemen named D’estere.
Today the site is open to the public all year round.
The castle is a rectangular tower, with four floors. It is set into the side of the ridge and has beautiful views of the Wicklow Mountains. It is known that Oughterard was the site of an important Anglo-Norman manor, but there are no references to the castle here until 1636.
Oughterard Round Tower, Picture Coutesy of www.megalithomania.com
The parish church was granted to St. Thomas’ Abbey, Dublin before 1189 and stayed in their possession for the next 400 years.
In 1540 it was said to be in need of repair and in 1576 it was being leased to Sir Henry Ratcliff. In 1596 it was granted to Richard Hardings.
The site is a National Monument; it includes a castle dating from 1636 and church from circa 1189.
The church on the site houses vaults belonging to Arthur Guinness, founder of the Guinness brewing family, and the Ponsonby family, who lived in nearby Bishopscourt.
Location Between Kill and Straffan.