The Pearse Museum and Rathfarnham Castle

Pearse Museum St. Enda's Rathfarnham Co. Dublin Ireland. Interior exhibition rooms

It’s worth considering a day trip to Rathfarnham where you can visit Rathfarnham Castle and the Pearse Museum, just 30 minutes from the city centre and 10 minutes’ drive from each other.

A lively, informative guided tour tailored to younger visitors will be included in your visit to each site. Visits to these historic buildings can be used to support various aspects of the school curriculum including social and cultural history, art, craft, design and appreciation of the environment.

The Pearse Museum

The Pearse Museum is located in the former home and school of Patrick Pearse. Pearse was the leader of the 1916 Rising and he, and his brother William, were among those executed for their part in the rebellion. 

The Pearse Museum tells the story of their role in that dramatic event, as well as Pearse’s work as a writer, teacher, and Irish language campaigner. 

The museum tells the story of Pearse’s life and includes unique items such as the handwritten manuscript of his famous O’Donovan Rossa speech. 

Visitors can also stroll around historic rooms, including Pearse’s study, a school dormitory, study hall and chapel. The school art gallery contains original works by Beatrice Elvery, Jack B. Yeats and Patrick Tuohy. 

The courtyard at the rear of the Museum houses a recreation of an original school classroom and a Nature Room where visitors can learn about Ireland’s flora and fauna. The museum is surrounded by 50 acres of landscaped parkland. 

Rathfarnham Castle

Rathfarnham Castle is an Elizabethan fortified house commissioned in 1583 by Archbishop-Chancellor of Ireland, Adam Loftus, as his private residence. 

In the 18th century, the house was remodelled, employing the very finest architects of that time, Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart. 

The guided tour covers the history of the castle with a focus on the lives of its former residents, from the 1580s to the 1980s. 

Visitors will see very fine 18th century interiors including the elegant Ballroom and the ornate Gilt Room with its magnificent gilded ceiling. 

A small collection of period furniture is on display and a collection of original paintings which includes landscapes and portraits is hung throughout the building. 

The castle also regularly hosts exhibitions of contemporary art. There is a playground managed by South Dublin County Council in the parkland surrounding the castle.