The reconstruction dates back to 1785 and is principally the work of James Gandon, James Wyatt and Francis Johnston. Francis Johnston, one of Ireland's most distinguished architects, is responsible for the most dramatic gothic gates on the Mill Hill.
The Conynghams are originally a noble Scottish family, and first settled in Ireland in 1611 in County Donegal. There has been an active association between the Conynghams and the Slane Estate dating back over 300 years, ever since the property was purchased by the family following the Williamite Confiscations in 1701. Prior to this, Slane had been possessed by the Flemings, aristocratic Anglo-Norman Catholics who cast their lot with the Jacobites. Christopher Fleming, 22nd of Slane, 17th Lord, Viscount Longford (b 1669, d 14.07.1726), was the last Fleming Lord of Slane. The present head of the Conyngham family is the seventh Marquess Conyngham. Slane Castle is currently occupied by his eldest son, the Earl of Mount Charles.
In 1991, a disastrous fire in the Castle caused extensive damage to the building and completely gutted the Eastern section facing the River Boyne. With the completion of the 10-year restoration program in 2001, Slane Castle has once again opened its doors.
The resident of Slane Castle, and heir to the title Marquess Conyngham, Henry Mountcharles (who had changed his name from Henry Coyningham to Henry Mountcharles because of name recognition and his high media profile) ran a credible campaign for a difficult seat in Louth on behalf of Fine Gael in the 1992 Irish general election. Though on the basis of his support in his first electoral outing the party believed that he could win a Dáil seat on a later attempt, he declined to remain active in politics and instead devoted his time to raising funds to rebuild the fire-damaged castle.
In August of most years since 1981 the grounds of Slane castle are used to host a rock concert. The natural amphitheatre has a 100,000 person capacity and has in the past hosted concerts by Queen, Thin Lizzy, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Guns N' Roses, Neil Young, R.E.M., The Verve, Robbie Williams, Bryan Adams, U2, Stereophonics, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Madonna. The Stones appeared in 1982 and returned again in August 2007. Many other notable acts have appeared in support of the headline acts. U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bryan Adams have all released DVDs of their performances at the castle. Madonna remains the only female artist to ever have headlined at the venue.
Part of U2's fourth album, The Unforgettable Fire, was recorded in the castle, as was the video for the song "Pride (In the Name of Love)". In August 2006, Celtic Woman recorded Celtic Woman: A New Journey (released January 2007) at the castle.
JON OPEN TO BELFAST GIG ; Bon Jovi Announce Slane Castle Show and Stormont Could Be Next ROCK LEGENDS HUGE CONCERT IN COUNTY MEATH
Nov 04, 2012; Byline: MARTIN BREEN At Slane Castle IT's been 22 years since rock legends Bon Jovi played Belfast but speculation is growing...