Old castle, new ideas: The Parsons family past, present and future

Birr Castle has been in the hands of the Parsons family for almost 400 years, but far from being stuck in the past, the popular tourist attraction, with its science centre and impressive gardens, continues to evolve

18th August, 2019
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Lord and Lady Oxmantown, Anna Lin and Patrick Parsons, standing; Brendan Parsons, the Seventh Earl of Rosse, and his wife Alison, seated with their grandchildren Olivia and William

How do you tell the story of 900 hectares, 15 generations, almost 400 years and a galaxy far, far away?

The Birr Castle story began in 1620, when the Parsons family acquired the ruined fortress of Birr in Co Offaly. And it is here that the Parsons have remained almost consistently since, giving rise to a most fascinating history that spans science and the stars, political unrest, glamorous denizens, the arts, botany and beyond. It is a story...

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