I-LOFAR is located on Birr Castle Demesne, Co. Offaly — a 50 hectare stretch of enclosed parkland and private home to the 7th Earl of Rosse, whose family have lived here since the early 17th century. Birr Castle has a long and rich heritage in science and engineering and makes for a fascinating day out for families or groups. Visit Birr Castle’s website to find out more.
Birr Castle is most famous for its long history in astronomy. In 1845, the 3rd Earl of Rosse built the biggest optical telescope in the world and it remained so for 75 years, only being superseded by the Hooker Telescope at Mount Willson Observatory, California. On the grounds of Birr Castle, still standing in the middle of the park is the great telescope – the Leviathan – with its 15 metre long tube and 1.8 metre (6 feet) diameter aperture.