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Tara's Museum of Childhood

Tara's Museum of Childhood

Wicklow, Co.Wicklow
Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood
The magical miniature world of Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood is yours to explore at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry. The Museum is home to Ireland’s Largest Period Doll House, Tara’s Palace. 
 
A Unique Day Out for all the Family
Perfect for all ages from 5 to 105. Must be seen to be believed! It is on display in the Museum of Childhood, located in historic Powerscourt House.  In addition to Tara’s Palace, the Museum of Childhood contains hundreds of fascinating exhibits, including the amazing “house in a bottle”, “the smallest doll in the world”, and a collection of doll’s houses dating back over 300 years.   A visit to the Museum of Childhood is a must for any visitor to Dublin and surrounding counties. Senior citizens love to reminisce about bygone days, while younger visitors marvel at the toys their grandparents, and great grandparents played with.  There is also a Museum Quiz, which is popular with all visitors.

Prices
Family €12, Adult €5
Child €3, Concession €4, Under 5s Free.
 
Tours
The tour visit of Tara’s Palace and Museum of Childhood usually takes 40 – 50 minutes. This provides sufficient time to see the Palace, historic dolls houses and displays. Up to 50 visitors can be comfortably accommodated at the same time. The museum building is friendly to disabled visitors and the surrounding area is paved and level. A lift is available to the first floor and there is a specially equipped toilet.
 
History
The Tara’s Palace story started in the early 1900′s, when master Irish craftsmen were commissioned to build a wonderful miniature dolls palace.  It was called Titania’s Palace, and it took over 15 years to complete.  It was furnished with exquisite miniatures from the four corners of the globe.  Titania’s Palace toured the world, raising money for children’s charities. 
 
Then a sad thing happened.  In 1967 the owners were no longer in a position to tour with Titania’s Palace, so they sold the palace at Christies in London in aid of children’s charities.  The purchaser offered it to the Irish Government but the offer was not followed up.  Titania’s Palace left Ireland, and remained in England for many years.
 
In 1978, Titania’s Palace was put up for auction again in Christies.  Ron McDonnell, head of the Irish Antique dealers association led an Irish delegation at the auction, confident that they could buy the palace back for Ireland.  They had not allowed for the deep pockets of Legoland Denmark, who paid an astonishing £135,000 to take Titania’s Palace back to Legoland.  Once again, Titania’s Palace was lost to Ireland. 
However, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a great true story, with a fairytale ending began.  Ron and his colleagues decided “If Irish craftsmen could build one miniature palace, they could build a second one”.  They commissioned Irish master craftsmen to build a new miniature palace, modelled on 3 great Irish houses.  They named the new building “Tara’s Palace”, in honour  of the fairy princess Tara.  Tara’s Palace took over 20 years to build and furnish.  It contains 22 stunning rooms, each furnished with exquisite miniature furniture, many of them priceless antiques.  Among the fascinating furniture is a collection of carvings made by Napoleonic prisoners of war, carved from bone pieces they kept from their scarce rations. 
 
Tara’s Palace raises money for children’s charities
Following the tradition of Titania’s Palace, Tara’s Palace raises money for children’s charities.