The house was built in 1751, designed and owned by the park ranger Nathaniel Clements who was an amateur architect. In 1785 was subsequently acquired for £25.000 as an "occasional residence" for the Lords Lieutenant, (also known as the Viceroy) where he lived for most of the year from the 1820s onwards.
The house was left empty for some years, until the office of President of Ireland was created in 1937 and in 1938 it became the official residence of the Irish president, Douglas Hyde and was renamed Áras an Uachtaráin (meaning house of the president in Irish).
The outbreak of World War II saved the building from demolition, as plans for its demolition and the design of a new residence were put on hold. By 1945 it had become too closely identified with the presidency of Ireland to be demolished and instead a large scale reconstruction was carried out. In the 1840s Decimus Burton gave the house some lovely formal gardens. The East Wing was added in 1849 for the first state visit of Queen Victoria and a West Wing added for King George V visit in 1911.
As you pass the Presidents Home look up at the main window on the top floor at the centre and you will see a candle light flickering this is a symbol to welcome all the Irish People home.
FREE OF CHARGE
Closed 24th-27th December
Guided Tours Meeting Point:
Phoenix Park Visitor Centre,