A 13th Century Castle steeped in history

Piracy & Smuggling

The original Castle building was built in the 13th century to protect the Moubray family from their enemies. It reputedly became a base for piracy and smuggling.

A Victorian Prime Minister

In 1881 Barnbougle was rebuilt by the Victorian Prime Minister, the 5th Earl of Rosebery, as a retreat for study and contemplation. The Castle became a vast study-tower, with six libraries and a single bedroom.

The glorious barrel-vaulted Banqueting Hall is where the 5th Earl practised speeches. Some of the brightest Victorian minds gathered in this truly spectacular space for conversation and spirited debate.

The 5th Earl viewed Barnbougle Castle as his sacred retreat.

Iconic time-capsule

The Castle offers a fascinating insight into days gone by. This iconic time capsule contains many of the original furnishings and ancestral portraits.

So strong was the 5th Earl’s spirit in Barnbougle that after his death it was simply closed up and preserved, as if he had just walked out.

The present

Although Barnbougle Castle has recently undergone a major renovation, we felt it was vital to leave the essential spirit of Barnbougle untouched. Many of the furnishings and antiques remain just as the 5th Earl left them. By holding your special occasion here, you share in a part of this rich and varied history.