William Conolly – the speaker of the Irish House of Commons and owner of Castletown House and the hunting lodge on Montpellier Hill which is now known as the Hellfire Club, commissioned construction of the building now known as Celbridge Manor just 12 days before his death in October 1729. At the time, it was incumbent on wealthier individuals and families to assist with funding the education of poorer children, and it was for this reason that he directed that a charity school be built either in or close to the village of Celbridge. His nephew – also known as William – donated the required land and construction began in 1732. The building remained in use as a school until the 1970s when it was converted into the hotel we see today.
When in use as a school, the caretaker would sometimes hear a piano being played during school holidays when he was alone in the building. The ghost of a young girl was also reportedly seen and heard on the second floor.
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