Steele, Inc.-Atlanta Division
 
Steeling Ashford Castle's
Best Kept Secret
Revised Nov.22, 2002
 

Watercolor by Jann Pollard, as featured on the cover of Karen Brown's Ireland: Charming Inns & Itineraries
 

"Try this for a deep, dark secret: The marble staircase at Ashford Castle where Remington swept Laura into his arms before carrying her off to their honeymoon suite? It doesn't exist. Follow: My friend and I had always been great fans of "Remington Steele", so we applied for and received passports of our own. But absolutely no one knocked on our door to offer us a free trip to Ireland. After 15 years of waiting, we decided that sitting and wishing was so...foolish. So we saved and scrimped and made our own plans... decidedly gutsy plans. Suddenly, we had airline tickets to Ireland, car rental tickets for Avis, and hotel vouchers for Ashford.

"Our plan was working like a charm...until the night we walked into the reception area of the castle. There was no marble staircase, no black-and-white marble floor, no white marble statues, no white columns... Suddenly, we had questions around the block! Could it be that even though 'Remington' fans knew nothing about it, the castle interiors in "Steeled with a Kiss" had been filmed elsewhere? That the interior of another castle had assumed Ashford's identity? That the other castle did the work, but Ashford took the bows?

"It was a dangerous way to film, but as long as people bought it, did it really matter how Michael O'Gleason got the job done?

"And no one ever knew...well, almost no one."

 
 

Imagine our surprise when Sandra and I realized the interior scenes of the castle in "Steeled with a Kiss" had not been filmed at Ashford. We wandered through every hallway, stairway, nook, cranny, and crevice, but found no marble floors and no marble staircases. Thinking that some parts of the castle might be off-limits to the guests, I asked one of the maids if there was a marble staircase anywhere in the castle. She laughed and said no, it was too old.

Then I recalled seeing the color brochure for Westport House in the reception area. After looking again at the pictures on the flyer, we deduced that *its* interiors had possibly 'stood in' for the interiors of Ashford. As Remington himself would say, "What a wonderfully, bizarre twist!"

I called Westport House and asked if "Remington Steele" had filmed there in 1987, but the lady I talked to had no idea. Naturally, we wanted to tour the house, but that was impossible. Early May was still off-season for them and they were only open for a few hours on Sundays. Unfortunately, we were nowhere near Westport on Sunday. We did consider driving there from Killarney, but that would have meant spending the entire day backtracking. Finally, we just decided to save Westport House for our *next* trip to Ireland.

Fast Forward to Sept. 7, 2002
Breaking News!

Grand hallway and staircase at Castletown House

Imagine our surprise when Sandra and I realized the interior scenes of the castle in "Steeled with a Kiss" had not been filmed at Ashford. We wandered through every hallway, stairway, nook, cranny, and crevice, but found no marble floors and no marble staircases. Thinking that some parts of the castle might be off-limits to the guests, I asked one of the maids if there was a marble staircase anywhere in the castle. She laughed and said no, it was too old.

Then I recalled seeing the color brochure for Westport House in the reception area. After looking again at the pictures on the flyer, we deduced that *its* interiors had possibly 'stood in' for the interiors of Ashford. As Remington himself would say, "What a wonderfully, bizarre twist!"

I called Westport House and asked if "Remington Steele" had filmed there in 1987, but the lady I talked to had no idea. Naturally, we wanted to tour the house, but that was impossible. Early May was still off-season for them and they were only open for a few hours on Sundays. Unfortunately, we were nowhere near Westport on Sunday. We did consider driving there from Killarney, but that would have meant spending the entire day backtracking. Finally, we just decided to save Westport House for our *next* trip to Ireland.

Fast Forward to Sept. 7, 2002
Breaking News!

Even the best detectives sometimes arrive at the wrong conclusions (like thinking the Ex-Wives Club conspired to kill Malcolm Marcall, or that the Earl of Claridge was a murderer.) When I rewatched "Steeled with a Kiss" last week, I realized the pictures from the Westport House brochure did not exactly match the castle interiors on the show, even though the style was very similiar. As a result of this discovery, I decided to investigate further.

Then at Borders, I picked up a huge, heavy book about the grand houses of Ireland. As I glanced through it, a picture of the hallway and staircase from SWAK caught my eye. Convinced that this was the correct house, I did an Internet search on Castletown House and came up with several sites. After taking a virtual tour, there is no doubt that the interior shots of Ashford Castle were actually filmed in Castletown House.

Am I ever glad we didn't spend an entire day in Ireland backtracking in order to tour Westport House!

 
I decided it would be fun to speculate on the circumstances which might have led to having other interiors stand-in for the interiors of Ashford Castle. Here's my take on it.
 

 
 

Steele, Inc.-Atlanta Div.

 
 
dtalley@mindspring.com

All writings copyrighted 2002 by Debra Talley. The characters of Remington Steele are used without permission. These pages are purely for entertainment purposes.