POSTED BY: Lorna Ryan McKeon

If the walls could talk

2nd Nov, 2018
Clontarf Castle dracula illustration

If the walls could talk

Once upon a time, there was a castle. This was no ordinary Castle. This was a city castle, complete with a ghost… Intrigued? We certainly were. What a pleasure it was to work with Clontarf Castle Hotel… and set about sharing their gallant story.

As a building whose origins date back to 1172, Clontarf Castle has its fair share of history and stories to tell, as the saying goes ‘if the walls could talk’.

The stories and the interesting characters we encountered along their rich historic time-line were intriguing. The location of the famous Battle of Clontarf, 1014, where the Irish King Brian Boru met a grisly end. Bram Stoker, an Irish author, best known for his 1897 world famous Gothic novel “Dracula” lived just around the corner. Latterly, it was home to the Vernon family. And in the 18th century became a favourite bolthole and venue for of the composer Handel. Fascinating stuff! Today Clontarf Castle is a very fine hotel.

Clontarf Castle really is the people’s castle. They have always been proud of the characters who have celebrated here, shared secrets here; lived, loved and laughed here. They have seen generations of celebrations played out within these walls and each experience creates a unique memory that becomes part of their story.

With no ordinary brand in mind, we were intent on creating something different to bring the magical tales of the building’s past to life. The bewitching work of Lesley Barnes caught our eye. She jumped on-board and set about creating a suite of bespoke illustrations including the building itself and many of the unusual characters connected with it – from Brian Boru to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and even the resident ghost!


The illustrations became an integral part of this brave hotel’s brand. They capture the surprising and extraordinary values and help tell their unique story. Depicted in a manner that reflects the brandmark in its geometric nature, they also serve to share the inherent magic and seductive beauty of the place itself.

And these characters all live happily ever after in Clontarf Castle Hotel and its story.

Lorna Ryan McKeon, Senior Brand Designer

Lorna brings a flair for intellectual instinctual design with her! A remarkable sense of colour and intuitive eye for balance and space make her a natural designer, and her exquisite concepts serve to bolster and enrich the brands she works with. Many of our clients at Neworld, including Adare Manor, Clontarf Castle and Castleknock Hotel, have benefited from her attention and genuine love of what she does.