Birr Castle has been at the centre of innovation and technological advancement since the 1840s when the Third Earl of Rosse, William Parsons, built the world’s largest telescope at that time.

Since then, the castle has seen the invention of a lunar heat machine by the Fourth Earl, which tested the temperature of the moon (and was proven correct when Neil Armstrong landed in 1969) and the modern steam turbine by Charles Parsons in 1884.