History

The Kitchen

Ireland’s most uniquely situated cookery school, Howth Castle Cookery School is based in the beautifully restored Georgian kitchens in historic Howth Castle, now open to the public for the first time. Situated on the north side of Dublin Bay the castle has been the home of the St Lawrence family since 1177. Howth Castle Cookery School was opened by sisters-in-law Christine and Edwina St Lawrence in 2008 to share their passion and knowledge about food and carry on the traditions of exceptional cooking and grand dining practiced in the Castle for centuries.

The earliest surviving fabric of the building dates from about 1450 and the Castle has been much altered and added to over the years. The kitchen itself dates from about 1750, when it replaced an earlier Elizabethan structure. It was renovated in 1911 by Sir Edwin Lutyens who was employed to modernise and extend the house.

A large and beautifully proportioned room, the kitchen has, as its main central feature, a thirty foot high cupola. This is not only magnificent, but it serves a purpose – it is the kitchen’s ventilation system! A truly unique space, Howth Castle Cookery Schoo inspires and excites all those who attend its cookery courses and demonstrations, offering the perfect marriage of state of the art cooking and AV technologies, with old world atmosphere and charm.

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A Tradition of Hospitality

Tradition has it that Grace O’Malley, the great Connacht sea queen, sought hospitality at Howth Castle on her return from a visit to Queen Elizabeth of England in 1575. It being the dinner hour, she found the gates of the castle closed as was the custom of the time. Her indignation at this perceived lack of hospitality matched her fiery temperament and she stormed back to her ship. On the way she encountered Lord Howth’s son and heir playing on the sands and in retaliation, carried him off to the West. He was returned only when a promise was given that the gates would never be locked and that a place would be set at the table for the unexpected guest. This tradition is maintained to this day at Howth Castle.