Hotel near Maynooth Castle
This great stone castle was founded in the early 13th century and became the principal residence of the Kildare branch of the Geraldines. The Kildare FitzGeralds extended their land holdings and influence, emerging as one of the most powerful families in Ireland with Maynooth Castle being one of the largest and richest Earl's houses.
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Maynooth College was founded in 1795 as a seminary for the education of priests and by 1850 had become the largest seminary in the world. Over its history it has ordained more than 11,000 priests. Many of these have ministered outside Ireland and it has inspired two major missionary societies, directed to China (1918 - the Columban Fathers) and to Africa (1932 - Saint Patrick's Missionary Society).