Ireland's Ashford Castle Recreates Prince of Wales' 1905 Hunting Party
The prestigious Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, one of the United Kingdom’s most impressive historic estates, recently celebrated its 75th anniversary as a luxury hotel. It did so by recreating a famed hunting party held for the Prince of Wales on the castle’s grounds in 1905. Now a five-star member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the castle was first built on the estate in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman family, House of Burke. It has been rebuilt several times over the decades and ultimately becoming a world-class hotel in 1939.
The iconic property has since played host to the likes of Oscar Wilde, Grace Kelly, John Lennon, John Wayne, Brad Pitt and Pierce Brosnan. Featuring 83 guestrooms, the property is also home to an equestrian center, fly fishing services, a nine-hole golf course and Ireland's first school of falconry.
In honor of its 75th anniversary, Ashford welcomed Peter Phillips, eldest grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, and his father, Captain Mark Phillips, former husband of Anne, Princess Royal, to the 350-acre estate where they held a woodcock shoot in full English gentleman’s hunting regalia. The affair also recreated King George V’s (Peter Phillips' great, great grandfather) same event when the castle was the home of the Guinness Family.
To this day, the 1905 shoot still holds the European Record for woodcock, a much sought-after game bird. During their stay, the group dined in Ashford Castle's spectacular George V Dining Room from a menu based on the dishes served to the Prince of Wales 108 years ago.