About us at the Leixlip Manor and Gardens
Leixlip Manor and Gardens was first opened as a Hotel in June 1996. It was purchased by it's present owners, the Towey Family in 1999. It's owners have been established in the Dublin Hospitality business since 1960. Sister properties of the Leixlip Manor and Gardens include the Leixlip House Hotel, Arc Cafe Bar at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and the Silver Granite Pub in Palmerstown.
The Leixlip Manor and Gardens has been managed by Christian Schmelter since 1999. The management team consists of Lesley Daniels, Wedding Co-ordinator, Rachel Fagan and Niamh Quinn, Wedding Team, Chef Satbir Yadav and Cyril Brennan, Bar Manager who have all been with the Manor for a number of years. Our staff are totally dedicated in delivering an excellent quality Wedding Product to you, our customer.
2011 saw the official relaunch of the Manor to a private and exclusive Wedding Venue. It is one of the few Venues that concentrate specifically on this market. Having hosted over 1700 Weddings to date we can whole heartedly ensure our clients a dedicated and professional service in arranging all aspects of your Wedding celebrations.
The Wedding Team at Leixlip Manor and Gardens
A Short History of Leixlip Manor and Gardens
Saint Catherine’s Park takes its name from a Priory of Canons of the Order of Saint Victor, which was established on these lands shortly after the Anglo-Norman invasion. The original priory house was built on each side of a small stream, which descends into the River Liffey.
The Priors included William of Kill, John Warisius, and Richard Shirman, and the chief benefactors of the priory included Wirris de Peche, Lord of Lucan, and Sir Adam de Hereford, Lord of Leixlip, each of whom left an endowment to maintain six chaplains to pray in the priory for the members of their families.
The Priory fell into such poverty early in the 14th century that Richard Turnour, who was Prior in 1323, and the canons obtained a royal license to assign the priory and all its possessions to the Abbey of Saint Thomas in Dublin.
After the dissolution of the monastic houses, the priory house and lands were leased in 1541 to Thomas Allen, Chamberlain of the Exchequer, who was also granted the neighbouring monastery of Saint Wolstan’s. When Allen’s lease ran out in 1561, the priory house and lands were leased to George Staynings, and eventually it passed to Sir Nicholas White, Master of the Rolls, who was granted “the Cell of Saint Catherine’s,” along with the manor of Leixlip.
Saint Catherine’s Priory became his principal residence. But in he fell out of favour and in 1589 he was sent to London, where he was detained first at Charing Cross and then placed under house arrest in the house of the Dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, before being imprisoned in Marshalsea, and then in the Tower. Eventually, he was allowed to return to Ireland and he died in February 1593.
His son Andrew White and Andrew’s son, Sir Nicholas White, lived at Leixlip Castle, and during the Cromwellian era Saint Catherine’s was leased by Sir Robert Knight. In 1655, the White family sold Saint Catherine’s to Alderman Ridgely Hatfield, who was mayor of Dublin the following year.
After the Restoration, Saint Catherine’s was sold in 1664 by Hatfield to Sir John Perceval. It then passed to Sir William Davys, who was Attorney-General and Chief Justice of the Regalities of Tipperary Recorder of Dublin, Prime Serjeant, and Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in Ireland. He was a son-in-law of Archbishop Boyle of Armagh, and later, when he was widowed married a daughter of the Earl of Kildare.
When Davys bought Saint Catherine’s in 1666 the buildings had fallen in disrepair, and he rebuilt the house. For generations, the house continued in the hands of the Davys family, who received the titles of Baron and Viscount Mountcashel. When the family died out, Saint Catherine’s passed to Sir Samuel Cooke, who was twice Lord Mayor of Dublin and a son-in-law of Dean John Trench.
Saint Catherine’s Park, which was rebuilt in 1765, was later lived in by Sir Richard Wolseley of Mount Wolseley, MP for Co Carlow, who died there in 1781. By 1795, the house had been bought by Robert Butler, third Earl of Lanesborough, who built considerable additions to the house and modernised the older parts of Saint Catherine’s. It then passed to David La Touche of the Huguenot banking family, who was related by marriage to Lord Lanesborough.
About that time, the house was burned to the ground and a new house – also called Saint Catherine’s Park – was built around 1798 to a design of Francis Johnston (also the architect of the GPO on O’Connell Street and Nelsons Pillar). It was lived in by a succession of generals in the 19th century, and is now Leixlip Manor & Gardens.
The monks, generals and sons-in-laws of deans and archbishops have left us with a very fine house in a peaceful location, and its use as an hotel today continues a tradition of hospitality and maintains an interesting legacy