Ballintubbert House is in a sleepy rural setting about 10 minutes from Athy and Stradbally – both with supermarkets – and about 10 minutes away from the main Dublin Cork motorway.
Pilgrimages were made as early as 1540 to partake of the beneficial waters from a healing well which now sits in the graveyard of St Brigid’s church, a stone’s throw from the house.
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Some interesting history…
The renowned poet laureate Cecil Day–Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day–Lewis, was born in the garden wing of the house in 1904, and on a return visit in the 1960’s penned the poem The House Where I Was Born here.
The dramatic actor Sebastian Shaw, who was famously unmasked as Darth Vader in Star Wars Return of the Jedi, owned Ballintubbert for a period during 1940s & 50s.
Sir John Hurt the inveterate and highly acclaimed English actor who harboured a love of Ireland subsequently bought and occupied the house from the mid 1980’s.
Athy Heritage Centre-Museum has the only permanent exhibition anywhere devoted to Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great 20th century polar explorer, who was born at Kilkea House, near Athy, in 1874. Highlights include an original sledge and harness from his Antarctic expeditions
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