Opening TimesOpen All Year

16 Mar to 31 Oct
0900hrs - 1800hrs

1 Nov to 15 Mar
1000hrs - 1600hrs

FacilitiesFacilities

The Castle Courtyard Café
April ~ October

The Discovery Gift Shop
Open every day of year

Birr Castle Demesne
Birr, Co. Offaly,
Ireland

Phone: +353 57 91 20336

bookings@birrcastle.com
 
  • Birr Castle Demesne  - Birr castle demesne ireland
  • Birr Castle Demesne  - Balloons over birr castle demesne ireland
  • Birr Castle Demesne  - Birr castle demesne formal gardens
  • Birr Castle Demesne  - Birr castle demesne country fair
  • Birr Castle Demesne  - Birr castle demesne science centre

The Great Telescope

Day of Discovery at Birr Castle Demesne Ireland

  • In the early 1840’s, the Third Earl of Rosse designed and built the largest telescope in the world. With this telescope, he discovered the spiral nature of some of the galaxies, and from 1845-1914, anyone wishing to witness this phenomenon had to come to Birr. And they came, in their hundreds, from across Europe and beyond, to observe the stars with Lord Rosse or simply to marvel at this feat of engineering in the middle of Ireland.
  • This Reflecting telescope remained the largest in the world for over 70 years and is arguably the largest historic scientific instrument still working today. This ‘leviathan’ as it is named, remains in the centre of the Demesne as Ireland’s greatest scientific wonder and represents a masterpiece of human creative genius.
  • The Science centre demonstrates how the extraordinary telescope, now magnificently restored, was built in the castle workshops by the people of Birr. Scientific instruments are displayed, alongside interactive models to explain how they were used.