Category: ireland

Cabra Castle

Cabra Castle is located in County Cavan, Ireland. The 19thcentury castle’s exterior was built in a neo Norman style, while the interior carries a Gothic design. The castle was built by the Foster family, who unfortunately went bankrupt due to the castle’s construction costs. In 1813, the castle was sold to the wealthy Pratt family, who owned substantial holdings in the area. They renamed Comey Castle to Cabra Castle in 1820. The castle estate remained with the Pratt family until 1964, when it was sold to the Brennan family. It was the Brennan family who transformed the castle into a hotel. The hotel was closed when the castle estate was sold again in 1986 to Mr. Mansour. In 1991, the castle was sold to the Corscadden family. The Corscadden’s restored the castle and reopened it as a four-star luxury hotel. The castle estate boasts one hundred acres of parkland and gardens, with an on-site 9-hole golf course, tennis, a gate lodge, and six cottages. Cabra Castle has 105 bedrooms, a bar, a restaurant, and conference rooms. 

Clifden Castle

Clifden Castle is located in the Connemara region of County Galway, Ireland. The early 19thcentury manor house overlooks the Clifden Bay and was built in the Gothic Revival style for John D’Arcy and his family. The castle boasts a rounded tower, a square tower, and an entry tower with two round turrets. In 1839, the estate passed to D’Arcy’s oldest son, Hyacinth. Unfortunately, Hyacinth didn’t run the properties as well as his father and had difficulty dealing with the tenants. In 1845, when famine struck, many emigrated and D’Arcy’s rent incomes fell. By 1850, the D’Arcy’s estate went bankrupt. Clifden Castle was purchased by the Eyre family who added a new roof and altered the façade with decorative elements. The Eyre family used the castle for holidays, but they were known as absentee landlords. The castle was placed into a trust for the six Eyre children and run by agents. Unfortunately, the castle fell into ruin and the lands were leased for grazing. In 1917, J.B. Joyce, a local butcher, purchased the castle estate, but there was great controversy over his purchase as some of the former tenants had purchased parts of the 200 acres for farming from the Congested District Boards in 1913. The farmers turned the town against Joyce. They chased away Joyce’s cattle, put their own stock in the field, and barricaded the gates against Joyce. Through arbitration Joyce agreed to sell the land in 1920; the tenants divided the land amongst themselves. The contents in the house were auctioned, the roof, windows, and timber were stripped away, and the castle fell into ruins.  Today, the castle is currently owned by several families. 

Luggala Lodge

Luggala Lodge is located in Roundwood in County Wicklow,
Ireland. The Gothic Revival castle is the ancestral home of the Guinness
brewing family. The lodge sits on 5,000 acres on the shores of Lough Dan and
Lough Tay in the Wicklow Mountain area. The water from the nearby Wicklow
Mountains is what Guinness uses to brew its stout. The La Touche family who
were Dublin bankers built the home in 1787 as a hunting lodge and added gothic
elements to the structure after its construction. In 1937, Ernest Guinness bought
the castle as a wedding present for his daughter Oonagh. After Oonagh divorced
her husband in 1950, she turned Luggala into a cultural hub, making it the
center of high-society life that attracted visitors from all around the world.
The lodge became known as a playground for the elite. The house was damaged by
fire in 1956 and quickly refurbished, but Oonagh and her son Garech Brown did
further restorations in 1997. The 1997 renovations were extensive and included
in-floor heating, insulation, security systems, a new library, an indoor
swimming pool, a long-lost wing on the north side of the courtyard, and making
the originally arched windows arched again, since they were squared off in the
19th century. The end total for restoration was €4 million. The house
boasts 3 reception rooms and 7 bedrooms in the main house, but there are 7
estate cottages and lodges located throughout the estate for more lodging. The
décor is Irish but carries influences from India. Brown’s wife is Princess
Harshad Purna Devi of Morvi. Many famous people have visited Luggala, including
Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, U2, and more. Luggala
Lodge is for sale through Sotheby’s International Realty with a price tag of €28 million, roughly
34 million U.S. dollars. 

Glin Castle

Glin Castle is located in County Limerick in Glin, Ireland. Thomas
FitzGerald built the first castle around the 1200’s, and its ruins are still
visible. John Bateman FitzGerald, the 25th Knight of Glin, built the current
castle in the late 1700’s. The Castle has been the seat of the Knights of Glin
for seven centuries. The last Knight of Glin died in 2011 and the title died
with him. The estate is set on 380 acres on the Shannon Estuary, with a walled
garden and a working dairy farm. The Georgian house is castellated with
battlements, gatehouses, and follies in the Regency and Gothic style. The three
level 20,550 square foot home was built for entertaining and has a drawing
room, a dining room, a smoking room, a library, and nine bedroom suites.
There’s also an adjoining wing with three more reception rooms and five more
bedrooms. The grand hall makes a statement with Corinthian columns, an ornate
Adams-style ceiling, and Venetian windows. Irish symbols of shamrocks and the
FitzGerald crest of a boar, make up some of the décor. The interior boasts a
double flying staircase off the first hall, the only one of its kind in
Ireland. The castle’s top floor was refurbished and operated as a country hotel
from 1993-2008. Glin Castle was on the market for €6.5 million in 2015, but was recently
taken off the market in 2017 as the owners decided to hold onto their ancestral
home. Glin Castle is now operating it as a wedding and event venue. 

Crom Castle

Crom Castle is located in County Fermanagh in Northern
Ireland. The castle sits on the shores of the Upper Lough Erne on 1,900 acres.
The new castle was built in the 1830’s in the Victorian style by the Creighton
family, the historic seat of the Earls of Erne. The castle has crenellated
towers and beautiful turrets. The estate boasts a boathouse, a holy trinity, a
turf house, a church, a school, and more. The grounds hold a 17th
century garden and the romantic ruins of Old Crom Castle. The old castle was
built by a Scottish planter in the early 17th century and passed to
the Crighton family in 1655. The old castle survived 2 Jacobite sieges before
being destroyed in 1764 by a domestic fire. The Crom estate also boasts some of
the oldest yew trees in Ireland. There are two conjoined yew trees that are
believed to be over 800 years old, one male and one female; they have formed a
citadel of branches at the entrance of the old castle garden. Crom Castle’s
West Wing is open to the public and is available for rent as it’s often used as
a wedding venue. The Creighton family privately owns the castle, while the National
Trust manages the estate. 

Loftus Hall

Loftus Hall is located on the Hook peninsula in County
Wexford, Ireland. The palatial mansion was built on the site of the original
Redmond Hall, which was replaced by the Redmond family around 1350. This was
during the time of the Black Death. In 1642, the Hall was attacked by English
soldiers, and subsequently attacked two more times by the soldiers of Oliver
Cromwell. The Hall was later purchased and became the principal residence of
the Loftus family. In 1684, Henry Loftus carried out extensive renovations. In
1800, Baron Loftus, the first Earl of Ely became the Marquess of Ely. The 4th
Marquess of Ely demolished the old Hall and created the present house with the
existing foundation, which was completed in 1879. Loftus Hall is a three-story
non-basement mansion with nine bay windows and a balustrade parapet. The Hall
was purchased by the Sisters of Providence in 1917 and turned into a convent
and school for young girls wishing to enter the order. In 1983, Michael
Devereau converted the Hall into a hotel, but it closed in the late 1990’s. The
castle changed hands a couple times and is now owned by the Quigley family. The
Quigley’s turned the Hall into a tourist attraction as a “haunted house.” The
legend of the visiting cloven man is said to have led to Anne Tottenham’s
mental illness and eventually her death in 1775. It is believed that Anne was
locked in the Tapestry Room where she refused to eat or drink, but it is far
more probable that she fell in love with the visiting man and was devastated by
his departure. After Anne’s death, a parish priest was brought to the Hall due
to noises and apparitions. It is said the priest succeeded in confining the
evil spirit to the Tapestry Room. Regardless, the castle is said to be filled
with paranormal activity with many visitors claim to see the ghost of Anne. The
third picture is the Tapestry Room. Loftus Hall is open to the public for
touring. 

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Ireland. The roughly
40,000 hexagonal basalt columns are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption
that occurred around 60 million years ago. Legend claims a giant built the
causeway. 

Charleville Castle

Charleville Castle is located in County Offaly in Tullamore,
Ireland. The first home on this site was built by Thomas Moore in 1641 and
passed to his grandson Charles Moore, Lord Tullamore. In the early 1800’s, Charles
William Bury, Earl of Charleville had a new Gothic revival house built on the property.
Due to a lack of funds by the owners, the castle was often left unoccupied.
Every re-opening of the castle was met with further additions and
refurbishment. It was William Morris, an English textile designer, who created
the dining room ceiling. Lord Byron, a poet, peer, politician, and leading
figure during Regency England, held many gatherings at Charleville Castle. The
castle was vacant in 1912 and by 1968 the roof had been removed. Restoration work
began in 1971 and later a Charitable Trust was formed to help in the
restorations. The castle hosts multiple events and is believed to be the most
haunted building and grounds in Europe, appearing on many television shows
including Fox’s Scariest Places on Earth.
Many paranormal investigators visit the castle in the hopes of meeting the
ghost called Harriet, the little girl died after a fall down the stairs. The
castle is situated in Ireland’s most ancient primordial oak woods, once the
haunting grounds of Ireland’s druids. The Charleville Castle Heritage Trust
owns the estate. Charleville Castle is open to the public for touring.