Ashford Castle Autumn Panorama
Ashford Castle is situated on the shores of Lough Corrib at Cong, Co. Mayo and was built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family. The de Burgos had several key strategic castles throughout Connaught but Ashford was their principal stronghold.
After an intense battle in 1589 the de Burgos lost control of the castle to Lord Richard Bingham, the governor of Connaught, who added a fortified enclave within its precincts. Successive Lords extended and further fortified the castle over the following years.
The Ashford estate was established by the Browne Family of Oranmore in 1715, who also extended the castle, this time in the style of a French chateau. In 1852 the new owner of Ashford Castle Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness extended the estate to over 25,000 acres and significantly increased the plantation and road network within the estate. The estate remained in the Guinness family until 1939 when it was sold to Noel Huggard. He established Ashford Castle as a hotel with a focus on country pursuits. The castle has changed hands and been developed several times in the recent past and is now one the top hotels in Ireland.
The Quiet Man was filmed in Cong in 1951 by John Ford. John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara stared in the film, much of which was shot on the grounds of Ashford Castle.