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Kilkea Castle – Further Reading

In terms of source material, as well as the persons acknowledged here, I salute the British News Archive and the Irish News Archive which provided invaluable details from newspapers such as the Carlow Nationalist, Carlow Sentinel, The Dublin Evening Post, Freeman’s Journal, Kildare Observer and Eastern Counties Advertiser, Irish Farmer’s Gazette, The Irish Times, Leinster Express, Leinster Leader, The Nationalist and Leinster Times, London Evening Standard, Saunders’s News-Letter, The Tatler and The Sketch.

The Dictionary of Irish Biography ( JSTOR ( and Academia have been most useful, as have The Irish Aesthete, the Pat Purcell Papers, the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Carloviana, The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland and the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy.

The following books also helped me sketch the story told in this book.


Documents relating to Kilkea Castle


  • FitzGerald, Lord Walter, ‘Kilkea Castle’, being the subject of a paper read at the September meeting of the Society, 1894 by Rev C Ganly. With a poem entitled ‘The Wizard Earl’, and a note by Henry B Swanzy, Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Vol. II, pp, 2-33, 1896-9; Vol. IX, pp. 392-4, 1918-22.
  • Fitzpatrick, William John, The Sham Squire, and the Informers of 1798 (Donahoe: Harvard University, 1866), especially the appendix entitled ‘Reynolds the Informer and Mr William Cope’, an address by Sir William H Cope in vindication of his late grandfather, p. 327-347.
  • Kane, Eamon, ‘Report on Kilkea Castle Rent Table’ (July 2015).
  • Kildare, Marquis of, Residences and Castles of the Duke of Leinster, and of his Ancestors (Dublin: Hodges, Foster and Company, Grafton Street, 1869).
  • Leinster, 4th Duke of, Notes on the Pictures, Plate, Antiquities, &c., at Carton, Kilkea Castle, 13, Dominick Street, Dublin, and 6, Carlton House Terrace, London (Dublin: University Press, 1885).
  • Leinster, 4th Duke of, Residences and castles of the Duke of Leinster and of his ancestors (Privately published: Dublin, 1878).
  • MacKenna, John, Castledermot and Kilkea – a Social History: With Notes on Ballytore, Graney, Moone and Mullaghmast (Winter Wood Books, for the South Leinster Literary Group, 1982).
  • Mac Suibhne, Fr Peadar, ‘History of Kilkea Castle’ (1965).
  • Ó Drisceoil, Cóilin, Barry Fitzgibbon and James Cahill, Preliminary Archaeological Assessment: Kilkea Castle and Demesne, Kilkea Demesne Td., County Kildare, (Kilkenny Archaeology, RMP KD 013-017, 28 May 2013).
  • Ó Dubhshláin, Mícheál, Are You Going Home Now?: Memories of Old Kilkea (Paragon Publishing, 2015), .
  • O’Higgins, Kay, ‘Kilkea Castle’, The Tatler, September 1937, p. 15-17.
  • Reynolds, Thomas, junior, The Life of Thomas Reynolds, Esq, formerly of Kilkea Castle, in the County of Kildare, in two volumes (London: Henry Hooper, 1839).
  • Robinson, Keith, with Brian Dooley, Joe Whelan, Glen Ashton and Daniel Horgan, 2nd year students, ‘Kilkea Castle – Development without Destruction’, Scoil Eoin, CBS, Athy (Athy Urban District Council, Heritage and Environment Prize Scheme, 1990).
  • Ryan-Smith, Siofra, ‘Kilkea Castle: Its History, importance and memories’ (April 2017)
  • Shanley, Michael, ‘How It All Went Right’
  • Swanzy, Henry B, ‘Dixon of Kilkea’, JCKAS, 9, 5, (1920), p. 392-4.
  • Synnott, PNN, Kilkea Castle, Castledermot, County Kildare, Republic of Ireland (Mount Offaly Press, 1973).
  • Taaffe, Frank, ‘Kilkea Castle’, Athy Eye On The Past, 31 October 2002,
  • John Rocque’s Survey of the Kildare Estates: Manor of Kilkea, 1760 – A Rediscovered Atlas Ornamented by Hugh Douglas Hamilton (Robin Halwas Ltd).
  • Kilkea Castle, Anthologia Hibernica: Or Monthly Collections of Science, Belles-lettres, and History, Volume 4 (RE Mercier, and Company, October 1794).
  • ‘Kilkea Castle’, Hotel & Catering Review, Volume 29 (Jemma Pub. Limited, 1997).


FitzGerald Histories


  • Carey, Dr Vincent P, Surviving the Tudors: The ‘Wizard’ Earl of Kildare and English rule in Ireland, 1537-1586 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000).
  • Carey, Dr Vincent P, ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It: Gender and Geraldine Power on the Pale Border’ in Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton, eds., Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance(Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011).
  • Collins, Arthur, ‘FitzGerald, Viscount Leinster,’ from The Peerage of England (M. Follingsby, 1779), 117-206.
  • Cosgrove, Patrick J, Aspects of Irish Aristocratic Life: Essays on the FitzGeralds and Carton House (University College Dublin Press, 2014).
  • Cosgrove, Patrick J, ‘The sale of the Leinster estate under the Wyndham Land Act, 1903’, Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society, 2008-9, Volume XX, Part I.
  • Clarke, Aidan, and Bríd McGrath, Letterbook of George, 16th Earl of Kildare (Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2013)
  • Dooley, Terence, and Conor Mallaghan, ’Carton House: a social history’ (Celbridge, 2006).
  • ‘Introduction to the Leinster Papers (D3078)’, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, November 2007.
  • Dooley, Terence, The Decline and Fall of the Dukes of Leinster 1872-1948 (Four Courts Press, 2014).
  • Estorick, Michael, Heirs and Graces: The Claim to the Dukedom of Leinster(London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1981).
  • FitzGerald, Elizabeth, Lord Kildare’s Grand Tour: The Letters of William FitzGerald 1766-1769(Collins Press, 2000).
  • Fitzgerald, Walter, ‘“The Geraldine’s Throw”. Identification of the Spot Referred to in a Sixteenth Century Legend Related by Holinshed.” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 3, no. 2, 1893, pp. 202–06.
  • Fitzgibbon, A, ‘Appendix to the Unpublished Geraldine Documents: The Gherardini of Tuscany Author’, The Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland, Jan., 1877, Fourth Series, Vol. 4, No. 29 (Jan., 1877), pp. 246-264, published by: Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.
  • Hayman, Samuel, and James Graves, James, editors, ‘Unpublished Geraldine documents,’ including ‘Account of the Gherardini of Florence’ (1843), printed at the University Press, by MH Gill, 1870.
  • Hore, Herbert Francis, ‘The Rental Book of Gerald, Ninth Earl of Kildare, A. D. 1518’, The Journal of the Kilkenny and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society, vol. 5, no. 3, 1866, pp. 501–46.
  • Kelly, Alan, The Struggle for Mastery in Ireland1442-1540. Culture, Politics and Kildare-Ormond Rivalry (Boydell Press, 2024), here.
  • Kildare, Marquis of, (4th Duke of Leinster), The Earls of Kildare, and Their Ancestors: From 1057 to 1773 (Dublin: Hodges, Smith & Co., 1858), 2nd edition, via here.
  • Kildare, Marquis of, The Earls of Kildare, and Their Ancestors: From 1057 to 1773, Second Addenda (Dublin: Hodges, Smith & Co, 1866).
  • Mullaney-Dignam, Dr Karol, co-editor, Aspects of Irish aristocratic life: the FitzGeralds and Carton House(Dublin: UCD Press, 2014).
  • Siochrú, Micheál Ó, ‘Foreign Involvement in the Revolt of Silken Thomas, 1534-5.’ Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, vol. 96C, no. 2, 1996, 49–66.
  • Tillyard, Stella, Citizen Lord: The Life of Edward FitzGerald, Irish Revolutionary (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1999).
  • Valkenburg, OP, ‘Gerald, eleventh earl of Kildare (1525–1585)’, Kildare Arch. Soc. Jn., xiv, no. 3 (1968), 293–315.


Medieval Era


  • Bolger, Teresa, ‘Colonising A Royal Landscape; the history and archaeology of medieval village at Mullamast, County Kildare’ (Transport Infrastructure Ireland, 2017).
  • Frame, Robin, ‘Thomas Rokeby, sheriff of Yorkshire, the custodian of David II’, in Rollason, David & Prestwich, Michael (eds.), The Battle of Neville’s Cross, 1346–1996 (Stamford: Shaun Tyas, 1998), pp. 50–56
  • McIlreavy, D, Walter de Ridelesford, Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press and Royal Irish Academy.
  • Otway-Ruthven, Jocelyn, ‘Ireland in the 1350s: Sir Thomas de Rokeby and His Successors.’ The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 97, no. 1, 1967, pp.47–59
  • Price, Liam, ‘The Grant to Walter De Ridelesford of Brien and the Land of the Sons of Turchil.’ The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 84, no. 1, 1954, pp. 72–77.
  • John Brooks, E, ‘The De Ridelesfords.’ The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 81, no. 2, 1951, pp. 115–138; vol. 82, no. 1, 1952, pp. 45–61.
  • Veach, Colin, Lordship in four realms: The Lacy family, 1166–1241 (Manchester University Press, 2015).


The Tudor Age


  • Barry, John, and Hiram Morgan (eds.), Great Deeds in Ireland: Richard Stanihurst’s De Rebus in Hibernia Gestis (Cork University Press, 2013).
  • Berleth, Richard, The Twilight Lords – Elizabeth I and the First Irish Holocaust (Roberts Rinehart, 2002).
  • Brady, Ciaran, The Chief Governors – The Rise and Fall of Reform Government in Tudor Ireland 1536-1588 (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
  • Kemp, Martin, and Giuseppe Pallanti, Mona Lisa – The People and the Painting(Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • Miller, Liam, and Eileen Power, Holinshed’s Irish Chronicle. The Historie of Irelande from the First Inhabitation Thereof, Unto the Yeare 1509. Collected by Raphaell Hollinshed, & Continued till Yeare 1547 by Richarde Stanyhurst, with Cancels Restored and the Woodcut Illustrations of the First Edition (Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1979).
  • Morrissey J, Thomas Mission to a Suffering People – Irish Jesuits 1596 to 1696 (Messenger Publications, 2021).
  • O’Byrne, Emmett, War, Politics and the Irish of Leinster, 1156-1606 (Four Courts, 2003).
  • O’Connor, Elizabeth Ann, The Rebellion of James Eustace, Viscount Baltinglass III, 1580 – 81: A study of the causes, course and consequences of the response of an Anglo – Irish Catholic layman to Elizabethan religious repression (Maynooth, MA Degree, 1989).
  • Ohlmeyer, Jane H, Making Ireland English: the Irish aristocracy in the seventeenth century (London, 2012).
  • Tazón, Juan E, The Life and Times of Thomas Stukeley (c.1525-78) (Routledge, 2017).


General Works Consulted


  • Atkinson, A, The Irish Tourist: In a Series of Picturesque Views, Traveling Incidents, and Observations Statistical, Political and Moral on the Character and Aspect of the Irish Nation (1815).
  • Billinge, ‘Michael George Petrie and the Kildare harp’, 2012.
  • Billinge, Michael, and Keith Sanger, ‘The Dates on the Kildare Harp’, 2012.
  • Bolger, Teresa, Colonising a Royal Landscape, the History and Archaeology of a Medieval Village at Mullamast County Kildare (Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Kildare County Council, 2018), accompanied by Mullamast – The Story of a Medieval Village, an audiobook from Abarta Heritage, 2018.
  • Booth, Nicholas, Zigzag: The incredible wartime exploits of double agent Eddie Chapman (Hachette UK, 2017).
  • Brewer, James Norris, The Beauties of Ireland: Being Original Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Biographical, of Each County, (Sherwood, Jones, & Company, 1826).
  • Butler, Rosemary, Ghostly Encounters: Ireland, England, and Spain.(Sun on Earth Books, 2010).
  • Carey, MC, Some Account of the Ruinous Ecclesiastical Edifices, Forts, Castles, etc., with Notes of Modern Events Connected with Queen’s County and County of Kildare (Maryborough, 1901).
  • Chapman, Betty, and Dr Ronald L Bonewitz, Mrs Zigzag: The Extraordinary Life of a Secret Agent’s Wife, Chapter 10: ‘My Home is an (Irish) Castle’ (The History Press, 2013).
  • Cokayne, George Edward, Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct, Or Dormant (G Bell & sons, 1893), Vol. 5.
  • Comerford, Most Rev. Dr, ‘Castledermot – Its History and Antiquities’, Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society (1895), Vol. I, pp. 361-78, 1891-5; Vol. II, pp. 65, 216, 1896-9.
  • Devitt, Reverend Matthew SJ, ‘The Eustace Family of Clongoweswood & Mainham, County Kildare’, Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society (1901), pp. 207-215, (1955) pp. 395-398.
  • Gallagher, Niav, ‘The Irish Franciscan Province: From the Foundation to the Aftermath of the Bruce Invasion’, in Franciscan Organisation in the Mendicant Context: Formal and Informal Structures of the Friars’ Lives and Ministry in the Middle Ages, eds. Michael Robson and Jens Röhrkasten (Münster: 2010).
  • Horan, Paul, ‘Castledermot 1264 – the first Irish parliament’, History Ireland, 2014, Vol 22. No. 3, 14-15.
  • Jones, Dan, The Templars, (Head of Zeus, 2017).
  • Kiely, Karel, with James Durney and Mario Corrigan, ‘Remembrance: The World War I Dead of Co Kildare’ (Kildare Decade of Commemorations, 2021).
  • Leadbeater, Mary, The Leadbeater Papers – The Annals of Ballitore (Bell and Daldy, 1862).
  • Leask, Harold G, Irish Castles and Castellated Houses (Dundalk: Tempest, 1941).
  • Lewis, Samuel, Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, (1837).
  • Macintyre, Ben, Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: The Most Notorious Double Agent of World War II (A&C Black, 2010).
  • Murphy, Denis, Cromwell in Ireland: A History of Cromwell’s Irish Campaign (MH Gill & son, 1885)
  • Nolan, William, and Thomas McGrath, Kildare History and Society: Interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish County (Geography Publications)
  • Rawson, Thomas James, Statistical Survey of County Kildare (1807). .
  • Ryan, David, Blasphemers and Blackguards: The Irish Hellfire Clubs (Irish Academic Press, 2012).
  • Smyth, Daragh, Earthing the Myths: The Myths, Legends and Early History of Ireland (Merrion Press, 2020).
  • Sweetman, David, Irish Castles and Fortified Houses (Country House, 1995).
  • Tierney, Andrew, The Buildings of Ireland – Central Leinster, Kildare, Laois and Offaly (Yale University Press, 2019).
  • Vigors, Tim, Life’s Too Short to Cry: The Compelling Memoir of a Battle of Britain Ace (Grub Street, 2006).
  • Williams, Jeremy, A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837-1921.


Local History Societies


  • The Castledermot Historical Society meets in the Castledermot Community Centre at 8pm on the last Tuesday of every month.
  • The Cill Dara Historical Society meets at The Education Centre, Old Parochial House, Friary Road, Kildare Town, at 8pm on the first Wednesday of every month.
  • Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society History – meets at 8pm, third Wednesday of every month, except June to August and December.