The Castletown Foundation is an educational charity which was established in 1979 and owned Castletown until 1994. The Foundation presented the House with thirteen acres and the Conolly Folly to the Irish State, and the Office of Public Works has subsequently carried out a major programme of conservation to the buildings and landscape.
The Foundation owns a large proportion of the collections on display at Castletown and advises the OPW on the presentation of the house, with several ongoing projects that will enhance the future visitor experience and deepen the authenticity of the presentation. The Foundation’s directors are drawn from different backgrounds and work in a voluntary capacity.
In 2017, the Foundation established the biennial Kevin B Nowlan Research Bursary in honour of the late Professor Kevin B. Nowlan, its esteemed former chairman. This scholarship aims to further research on the history, architecture, collections and estate of Castletown House in County Kildare. The first Kevin B Nowlan Bursary was jointly awarded to Kyle Leyden and Laura McKenna. Kyle’s research project is entitled ‘ “The Epitome of the Kingdom?” The Politics of “Fine Building” and the Fashioning of Irish National Identity, 1719-1782’, while Laura’s project focuses on ‘An analysis of the links between the silk damask wallpaper in Castletown House’s ‘Red Drawing Room’ and similar examples in Italian palazzi’.