Historic Buildings of County Leitrim
Republic of Ireland
Image right - Parkes Castle
The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in County Leitrim, with links to sub-projects for specific buildings as appropriate. GENi profiles of people associated with those establishments can be linked to this project and/or to individual projects where they have been set up.
Castles, Baronial and Historic houses
... in alphabetical order
Including Castles, Abbeys, Manor Houses, Mansions, Stately Homes, Country houses, Estate houses, Courts, Halls, Parks and other listed buildings of historic interest
Full sizes of the thumbnail images can be seen in the Gallery attached to the project or by clicking the thumbnail image. TIP - Use ctrl+the link to open the image in a separate tab, or use "back" to return to this project page) Sources for the images can be found in the image details as seen in the gallery.
Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles or projects. Other links take you to external biographical web pages. Please copy and paste the bullet used - ● - instead of * when adding items to the list.
● Castle Carr
● Castlefore - ruins
● Cloncorrick Castle (Carrigallen Castle)
● Dromahaire Castle (Ballyrourk) Ruins
● Dungarbery Ruins
● Jamestown and Longifeld (Jamestown and Drumsna) Ruins
● Kiltyclogher Prehistoric earthworks.
● Leitrim Castle (Cairlen Liath Druim, O'Rourk's Castle, Ballyrourke)
● Lough Rynn Castle, Restored Castle. Now a luxury castle hotel on the shores of Lough Rynn situated on the historic grounds of the medieval castle and estate of the Mac Raghnaill family of Muintir Eolais. The current Lough Rynn estate is built on the ancestral lands of the Mac Raghnaill family. See Mac Raghnaill's Castle below. In the English Plantation of 1621, the Mac Raghnaill lands in Lough Rynn were confiscated and granted to an English family named Crofton. The Croftons brought British Protestant settlers with them and in the 1620s and 1630s the native Irish were gradually removed from the land. In 1750 the Croftons were replaced by another English family named the Clements. Daniel Clements, an officer in Oliver Cromwell's army, had been granted land in County Cavan which had been confiscated from the Irish following the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. In 1750 Nathaniel Clements, 2nd Earl of Leitrim KP PC acquired the Lough Rynn estate, while remaining on his lands in Cavan started to become more involved in political life in Leitrim with Robert Clements becoming sheriff for the county in 1759. In 1795 Robert Clements became the first Earl of Leitrim. In 1833, Robert Bermingham, Viscount Clements, built a mock Tudor revival house overlooking Lough Rynn, which is the basis for the current Lough Rynn Castle. When Robert died management of Lough Rynn passed to his brother, William Sydney Clements, 3rd Earl of Leitrim. In 1854, when their father Nathaniel Clements, 2nd Earl of Leitrim, died William Sydney Clements became the 3rd Earl of Leitrim. He inherited an estate of 90,000 acres which stretched across four counties. The inability of tenants to pay rent during and after An Gorta Mór provided him with an opportunity to clear his estate and introduce more productive farming practices. In 1858, in a nationally reported event, Clements assembled one thousand armed military and police to repossess the local Gortletteragh Church for non-payment of rent, (his liberally-minded father had refused to take rent). About six thousand men turned up from Longford, Westmeath, Roscommon and across Leitrim to defend the church, forcing Clements to back down. By 1860 Sydney Clements had become a staunch supporter of the Conservatives. In 1870 he spoke out vehemently against William Gladstone's first Irish Land Act, believing it to be an encroachment on the rights of property owners. During the 1860s hatred towards Sydney Clements grew in the surrounding area and stories began to be told of his mistreatment of the wives and daughters of local men. In September 1860 James Murphy from Mohill fired a loaded pistol at him, two days after sending him a note challenging him to a duel to 'take satisfaction for your ruffianly conduct towards my wife'. An additional attempt to shoot him followed in the 1860s. In 1878 Sydney Clements engaged in a wholesale eviction of his tenants in County Donegal, many of whom were starving as a result of the famine. On 2 April 1878 three men, Michael Heraghty, Michael McElwee and Neil Sheils, ambushed and killed William Sydney Clements, 3rd Lord Leitrim, at Cratlagh Wood near Milford, County Donegal. His funeral in Dublin was marked by further riots, while none of the three assassins were convicted of his death. Lough Rynn Castle Hotel now has forty-two bedrooms, a baronial hall, a library named after John McGahern, drawing room, piano room, bar, the award-winning Sandstone restaurant, as well as conference, bar and wedding facilities for up to three hundred guests in an adjoining function room.
Also Colonel Henry Theophilus Clements extensively expanded and refurbished the castle.
● Mac Raghnaill Castle - a late medieval castle located close to the lake and some 500 metres from the existing Lough Rynn Castle. Although a square shape, the castle had rounded corners that made it more impervious to artillery attacks and it had a straight stairway carved into the hollow of a wall, rather than the more usual spiral stair in one corner. The Mac Raghnaill family had played an important role in the Nine Years War on the side of Aodh Mór Ó Néill resisting the English conquest of Ireland.
● Manorhamilton Castle, Restored Castle. Built by Scottish Presbyterian Sir Frederick Hamilton as part of the Plantation in 1621. He met stiff opposition from the displaced O'Rourke clan and left Ireland in 1642 after a siege during which he publicly hanged captured enemies. He had a reputation as a tyrant. His army also burned the town of Sligo. The castle was destroyed by the Earls of Clanrickard in 1652.
● Parke's Castle, a.k.a. Newtown Castle; Restored Castle. Tower-house built by one of the Planters' early in the 17th century. The castle is rectangular in shape, and has three storeys with mullioned windows and diamond-shaped chimneys. It forms part of one side of a five-sided bawn with large rounded turrets at two corners. The chieftain Brian O'Rourke gave refuge to Franisco de Cuéllar who survived the defeat of the Spanish Amada in 1588. Captain Robert Parke made his way as far as Lough Gill, demolished the O'Rourke tower-house and built the strong house which is named after him. He completed the castle in 1610 on the site of an earlier 15th century O'Rourke (Ui Ruairc) castle, keeping the walls of the original bawn and demolishing the O'Rourke tower house in the centre. The stones of the O'Rourke tower were used to build the three-storey manor on the eastern side. The Parkes family remained at Newtown, or Leitrim Castle - as it was formerly known - until the end of the seventeenth century, when it was deserted. At the end of the 20th century Parkes Castle was restored by the Office of Public Works using building techniques from the 17th century. Parke's Castle is now open to the public from April until October.
● Rhynn old castle built by the Reynolds family
● Rossclogher Castle Remains of a 15th century cylindrical tower. MacClancy -- 15th century round tower
- Woodford House O'Rourk Castle Ruins (Woodfort)
References and Sources
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Other Pages for Historic Buildings of Ireland Counties
Historic Buildings of Co. Kilkenny
Historic Buildings of County Tipperary
this project is in History Link