Historic Buildings of County Longford
Republic of Ireland
Image right - Castleforbes
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The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in County Longford, 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
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● Abbeyderg Monastery near Longfiord, is the Cemetery of Abbey Dearg, in which stands the crumbling ruins of what was once a priory for Regular Canons of the Order of St. Augustine, founded about 1205, by Grormgal O'Quinn, Lord of Rathcline, dedicated to St. Peter. In 1217, the first abbot of the monastery, named Osin, died and was buried there. On the death of Brendan Jifagodaig, Bishop of Ardagh, in 1255, his remains were also buried in this priory, which continued to exist until 1550, when it was suppressed, and the buildings and land bestowed on Nicholas Alymor, an English soldier.
● Ardandra Castle Ruins
● Ardanragh Castle - in 1835 Castle farm was described as containing the 'demesne at Ardanragh Castle… and the ruins of an ancient castle of the O'Ferrals' (O'Donovan Letters). The O'Farrell family were very important figures in medieval and late medieval Longford, and owned most of this part of the county until c. 1650 - 1700. This site was later described c. 1862 - 4 as 'the old castle of Ardanragh has been partially converted into a house, and is tenanted by Mr. Shaw (probably Robert Shaw 1829 - 99), an educated and intelligent man, who farms the adjacent ground' (Journal of the Royal Geological Society of Ireland 1862 - 4). A John Shaw was born at Ardandra Castle c. 1796 and was still in the ownership of the Shaw family c. 1895. The Shaw family also lived at Shawbrook to the north from the mid-eighteenth century until the start of the twentieth century. It may have passed into the ownership of the Madden family later (Land Commission Report 1977).
● Ballinamore Fortress Ruins
● Ballymahon Castle No remains - erected to defend the ford of the Inny - only the cellars remain under the house built on the site.
● Ballynock Castle Ruins
○ some remains of an ancient fort
● Barnacor Castle Ruins - on the Inny
● Barry Castle Ruins. In the parish of Taghsheenod. The castle was levelled to the ground in 1295 by Geoffry O'Farrell, Chieftain of Annaly, to avenge an affront offered to him by the chieftain of Magh Breaghagh.
● Bawn House, near Moydow, now derelict. It was the home of the Monfort family for most of the eighteenth century and then passed to Caleb Barnes Harman, a land agent on the Harman family estate. He was fatally shot during a robbery at the house in January 1796. Immediately behind Bawn House stand the ruins of the Castle of Moydow, or Moydumha, (see below). In 1770 the Whiteboys, first called "Levellers," who were the only protection the Catholics had. They blackened their faces and put on a white shirt over their dress as a disguise, from which they were called "Whiteboys." For many years they restrained the landlords and agents oppressing the people. In about 1780 Captain Barnes lived in Bawn House. One night after collecting the rents of his estates, while upstairs with his clerk counting his money and making out his accounts, he was summoned to the front door. He and his clerk piled furniture on the main stairway, first locking the room in which the money was left. As the summons was not answered, the men (Whiteboys) rammed the door in with a tree log, and were about to rush upstairs when Barnes fired down on them. The shot did not kill anyone, and the leader of the party, seeing Barnes about to fire again, immediately took aim and shot him dead on the top of the stairs. The rest then ran up and knocked the clerk on the head, leaving him senseless, whilst they entered Barnes' office and abstracted every penny he had received that day. The military authorities hearing of the attack, turned out next day from Longford and captured a dozen of men, of whom several were hanged on the evidence of an informer, who did not receive any of the money taken from Barnes, and turned king's evidence on that account.
● Bawnmore Castle Ruins
● Carrigglas Manor House - Tudor Revival style manor house built with blue-grey limestone in 1837 by Thomas Langlois Lefroy of Huguenot descent and is still owned by the Lefroy family. The house is a private residence.
● Castleforbes or Castle Forbes, Restored Castle. Seat of the Earls of Granard, Castleforbes is situated about three miles from Longford town, standing between the river Shannon and Newtownforbes; a 19th century cut limestone structure. Designed by John Hargrave from Cork. Castleforbes was built in 1624 by Lady Jane Lauder, wife of Sir Arthur Forbes, 1st Baronet of Longford. In 1825, the castle was partly burned but restored soon afterwards. The complete decoration of the castle was completed in 1909, following the marriage of Beatrice, daughter of Ogden Mills of Strasburg to the Bernard Forbes, Earl of Granard
● Castle Nugent Detached three-bay two-storey house, built c. 1775, now out of use and unoccupied. There was an earlier house here from at least the early 18th century associated with Nugent family. A deed dated 1703 mentions a James Nugent of Castle Nugent, Esq., and there are later references to the Nugent family of Castlenugent throughout the eighteenth century. The Nugent family at Castle Nugent are probably a subsidiary branch of the Nugent family of Killasonna House to the east, or perhaps they moved from Castle Nugent to Killasonna sometime during the second half of the 18th century. This building was the home of
- John West, Esq., in 1824 (Pigot's Directory),
- William Webb, Esq. (magistrate), in 1846 (Slater's Directory),
- Michael Leavy in 1881 (Slater's Directory) and
- Patrick Leavy in 1894 (Slater's Directory).
- Patrick Donohoe - born Castle Nugent, Longford, served in 17th Dragoons (Light) - 1812-1822, discharged aged 27
● Castlecor Ruins
● Castlerea House in the ownership of the Higgins family
● Castle Wilder Ruins
● Castlewilder House Detached five-bay three-storey country house, built c. 1715 and altered c. 1880. Originally built by the Wilder family during the first decades of the 18th century. There are references to the Wilder family in County Longford from the mid-17th century (a Matthew Wilder of Cliduff (former name of house is Cloghdoo) is indicated in the 1659 Census of County Longford, and a Matthew Wilder was appointed as a Commissioner for County Longford from 1697 - 99; an Edward Wilder was a soldier in the 1649 Irish Confederate Wars), which suggests the presence of an earlier house/castle on or close to the site of the present structure. Castlewilder was the home of a William Wilder (1696 - 1745), during the first half of the 18th century, and he served as High Sheriff of County Longford in 1730. It remained in the ownership of the Wilder family (with a Matthew Wilder serving as High Sheriff in 1774, and his son, also Matthew, as High Sheriff in 1798) throughout the 18th and into the 19th century. This house was possibly the home of Theaker Wilder (c. 1717 - c. 1777; son of Matthew Wilder), a mathematician, and first Regius Professor of Greek and Senior Register at Trinity College, Dublin. He is notable for being Oliver Goldsmith's (rather dismissive) tutor whilst he was at Trinity c. 1747. Castlewilder went into the ownership of the Pollock family c. 1823 (possibly leased), and was the home of a Hugh Pollock Esq. in 1837 (Lewis). A Richard Riggs Shaw J.P. was born here in 1823. Lewis (1837) records that 'petty sessions are carried out at Castlewilder every alternate week'. The Castlewilder estate was sold in 1845 for a sum of £18,000 (or £13,800) to a Surgeon Richard Pearce O'Reilly (1793 - 1870) of Sackville Street in Dublin. His son Richard Pearce O'Reilly J.P. (1843 - 1920) served as a High Sheriff of County Longford in 1867 and as Deputy Lieutenant in 1892(?).
● Clonlemon Castle Ruins
● Forgney - St. Munis Church. The Church of Ireland church in Forgney is where the Rev. Charles Goldsmith, father of the poet Lieutenant Colonel John Henry Patterson, (1867-1947) administered from 1718 to 1730. The present church was built in 1810 and replaced that of Goldsmith's day.
● Glenquin tower house. 15th century
● Granard Castle The ruins of a 13th century castle built on a hill
● Granard Motte The Moat of Granard is well known as being one of the largest and oldest of its kind in Ireland, originally cut out of a large hill. Granard consists of a huge mound of earth with a flat top and a hollow interior. It is believed to have been used as a storage facility, possibly for grain or perhaps even gold treasure. The top of the mote once included a wooden guard tower, encircled by a palisade. A U-shaped bailey at its base served as a containment area for animals and soldiers in times of battle. The remainder of the facility was defended by the occupants of the huge trench at the top. Granard Motte was probably built in pre-Danish years, and was used by Richard de Tuite in 1199 in efforts to complete the Norman Conquest. Granard Motte is the highest structure of its kind in all of Ireland. Today, its summit is occupied by a statue of St. Patrick, erected in 1932. An old castle probably existed inside the moat, to which there was a secret entrance, built by the Tuites and Daltons as a protection against the attacks of The O’Farrell in the 13th century. It is mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters under dates – 236, 476, 765, 1069, 1272, 1275, 1475, 1586.
● Killasonna House
● Longford Castle - old No remains
● Lot's Castle
● Mornine Castle
● Mosstown Castle
● Moydow Castle, a.k.a. Moydumha. Mornine Castle (also called Moydow Castle) in the parish of Taghsheenod within the baronies of Moydow and Shrule Ruins - demolished in 1295 by Geoffry O'Farrell, Chieftain of Annaly (or Sefraid O Fergail. In the ownership of the Higgins family of the adjacent Castlerea House for the last 100 years. 1260 - John de Verdon built the castle at Moydow, immediately behind Bawn House. 14th and 16th centuries It was again occupied, according to records.
○ Mornine Castle , formerly the inheritance of Sir Matthew O'Farrell, and erected by the O'Farrells in 1400, stands near Barry
● Newcastle House Ballymahon - 300-year-old Manor House on the banks of the river Inny. Formerly the residence of the King-Harmen Family, once the largest estate in the region encompassing over 30,000 acres. Today, Joe and Suzanne Donovan have lovingly restored Newcastle House to its former glory with 16 guest rooms
● Rathcline Castle Ruins. Cheif residence of the O'Cuins. A medieval tower house, enlarged in the early 17th century, now a ruin - only one wall thick. Was the headquarters and chief fortress of County Longford. In 1641 the castle was besieged and taken by the Irish for the O'Farrels.
● Rossduff Castle Ruins
● Tenellick Castle Ruin
○ Twixar.me - mention
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Other Pages for Historic Buildings of Ireland Counties
Historic Buildings of Co. Kilkenny
Historic Buildings of County Tipperary
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