RATHBORNES 1488: The World Oldest Candlemakers


Rathborne Candles, based in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown, was founded in 1488 — four years before Columbus discovered America. It has survived everything from plagues to the coming of electricity, and the Second Vatican Council. During the 19th Century, Rathborne held the contract for all the street lighting fittings in Dublin. When electricity became the norm, the company refocused its efforts on church candles. However, the Second Vatican Council decreed that Catholic churches should be stripped of much of their previous ornamentation including elaborate candles. But, as Rathborne’s financial director Vincent Brady says, “the meddling ecclesiastical busybodies relented and the traditional church candle survived.”


While the company is no longer in the hands of the Rathborne family (they have all since died out), the last direct descendant has an open invite to visit at any time. The company has big plans for the future and is determined to be around another 500 years. Says Brady, “We would like to set up a museum where we could exhibit all the old machines and demonstrate the ancient candle-making skills, and maybe one day return to East Wall, which is our ancestral home.” For more information do not hesitate to visit the link below.