Shankill Castle

General information

Brief description of organisation

Shankill Castle was first built as a Queen Anne House in 1708 and was extended and castellated in the 1820s. Steeped in history, it has been a place of inspiration to artists for the last 25 years. Shankill has been home to the Cope family since 1991. Dedicated to the preservation of this historic home they have carefully maintained and restored the unique and eclectic character of the building. The Cope family consist of three artists, one historian and one archaeologist and their talents and passions are reflected in the lively pursuits at the castle. The castle and farmyard are frequently used to host exhibitions and used as studios and attract both Irish and International visitors. For those accepted into our residency program these spaces are reserved for the sole use of the artists to be inspired, to create and to rejuvenate.

Brief description of residency program

Shankill Castle is set in a formal landscape with a panoramic view of Mount Leinster. This provides artists with a suitable setting which they can use to support the development of their work or to re-energise their creative spirit. This residency program offers the artist the unique opportunity to step back in time and work in a setting surrounded by wonderful views of green rolling hills, the lake and the star filled sky at night. Artists benefit by being surrounded by fresh air, beautiful woodlands and gardens, walled vegetable gardens and a working farm.

The residency program takes place in the Castle grounds in the Dairy Cottage that looks out over the victorian walled garden. There is space for two people at any one time. All accommodation is self-catered. There are private and communal workspaces for artists of all media. You are welcome to stay for a period of time from two weeks to 3 months.

What have former participants on the residency program had to stay about Shankill Castle?

"I had a wonderful stay at Shankill Castle and can thoroughly recommend it as a place to recharge the creative batteries and maybe even get some work done. What other retreat offers three kitchen gardens to consult your Muse." - Mark McCrum

"We enjoyed every minute in Shankill and I wrote two books while I was there." - Peter Somerville-Large

Residency program since


Disciplines and media
  • Visual Art
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Dance
  • Theatre
  • Performing Arts
  • Textile Art
  • Music
  • Literature
  • Educational Programmes
  • New Media
  • Animation
  • Printmaking
  • Curatorial
  • Administrative
  • Film Making
  • Architecture
Type of organisation
  • Artist-Run
  • Independent Association/Foundation
  • Part of a Gallery/Museum

Residency conditions

Duration of residencies
  • 2 weeks
Number of artists resident at one time


Companions allowed
  • Children
  • Partners
Grants available

Not at present

Expenses paid by artist
  • Travel
  • Housing
  • Supplies
  • Food
  • Other
Expectations of the artist
  • Other
Application who/how

Digital Application

Selection procedure

By Curator

Presentation of artists' work

Arranged on a case-by-case basis

Description of residency



  • Internet Connection
Number of studios


Type and size of studios

Shared Studio

  • Private Room
  • Private Apartment
  • Private Cabin/House
Working language(s)
  • English
  • French
Other activities happening at the space
  • Workshops
  • Exhibitions
  • Cafe/Restaurant
  • Castle and Gardens are open to the public on certain days

How to reach

By train

We are 3 miles from Bagenalstown (Muine Bheag), which is on the Dublin- Waterford train line. Carlow and Kilkenny are the stops either side of Bagenalstown (Muine Bheag). We can arrange collection from the train station.

There is a super bus service from Dublin Airport to Paulstown with JJ.Kavanagh buses.

By plane

Dublin Airport is one and a half hours by car. There is also the Waterford bus from the Airport that stops in Paulstown that takes around 2 hours.

Waterford airport is 2 hours by car. There are frequent buses from Waterford city centre to Dublin that stop in Paulstown.

By car

From Dublin take the M7 and follow signs for Waterford onto the M9. Take exit 7 of the M9 signposted Paulstown. Turn left at both roundabouts and then drive straight into the village of Paulstown. After the shop and pub on the left carry on and after the bend on the left is the front gate of Shankill Castle.

From Kilkenny take the N10 towards Carlow. At Paulstown go straight at the roundabout and then drive straight into the village of Paulstown. After the shop and pub on the left carry on and after the bend on the left is the front gate of Shankill Castle.

Taking the bus is the most efficient way of getting to Shankill Castle as JJKavanagh and Bus Eirean buses run regularly from Dublin City, Dublin Airport and Waterford to Paulstown. We can arrange collection from the bus stop.

Nearest airport


Contact information

Shankill Castle
Shankill Castle
N/A Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny

Phone: 00353 59 9726145
Fax: 00353 59 9726145

Social Media


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