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Birr Castle - Birr

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We welcome you to our Domaine of Discovery, which offers something for everyone to enjoy and is especially interesting and educational for families. Starting with Ireland’s Historic Science Centre in the old stable block, with its café and shop you can then explore 50 hectares of park land, visit the magnificent Formal Gardens and terraces and discover Birr’s world famous engineering and astronomical wonder - the Great Telescope. During the 1840's and starting from virtually first principles, the third Earl of Rosse designed and had built the mirrors, tube and mountings for a 72 inch reflecting telescope which was the largest in the world at that time and remained so for three quarters of a century. With this instrument, situated near the middle of Ireland, Lord Rosse was able to study and record details of immensely distant stellar objects and to provide evidence that many of these mysterious nebulae were actually galaxies located far outside our own.


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