Historic Buildings of County Limerick
Republic of Ireland
Image right - Adare Manor
If you have information about any of the Buildings mentioned below please share it here. If you have ancestors linked to any of the places please add them to the project.
The object of this project is to provide information about historic buildings in County Limerick, 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.
● Adare Castle - belonged to the Kildare branch of the FitzGeralds and is first mentioned in 1226 when it was in the possession of Geoffrey de Marisco. It was forfeited after the rebellion of 1534 and granted in 1541 to the Earl of Desmond, but was later returned to the Kildare earls.
● Adare Manor - now the Adare Manor Hotel, The first mention of a manor on the land is after the Norman invasion of Ireland. In 1226, when King Henry III gave a grant to Justiciary of Ireland Geoffroi de Morreis (de Marisco) to hold an eight-day annual fair following the Feast of St. James at his Manor of Adare. The lands were afterwards granted to the Earls of Kildare, members of the Welsh-Norman FitzGerald family who came to Ireland in 1169. In 1536, the act of attainder was passed against Thomas FitzGerald, 10th Earl of Kildare, whose lands, castles and manors were forfeited to the crown. In a letter dated 24 March 1547, the boy king Edward VI granted the Earls of Desmond "the manors and dominions of Croom and Adare, in the county of Limerick, to hold for life." The Desmond Rebellions brought control of the lands to the St. Leger family. For the next century, the lands passed from 10 families: St. Leger, Zouch, Gold, Rigges, Wallop, Norreis (Norris), Jephson, Evans, Ormesby (Ormsby), and then Quin. Thady Quin, Esq. (1645–1726) of Gortfadda, County Leitrim, purchased the moiety in 1669 and continued to add surrounding land through 1702. He received the last land grant for Adare, on 16 December 1684, to hold the lands for a thousand years, "paying to Gilbert Ormsby and his heirs the rent of £230." The deed of conveyance, dated 23 February 1721, transferred the following land to Thady's eldest son, Valentine Quin: Valentine Quin was the grandfather of Valentine Richard Quin (1752–1824), the first Earl of Dunraven. Valentine Richard Quin, MP for Kilmallock (1799–1800), was created a Baronet of Great Britain in 1781 and was raised to the peerage in 1800 as Baron Adare. He was advanced to a Viscountcy in 1816 as Viscount Mount Earl and became Viscount Adare and the first Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl on 5 February 1822. He chose the title of Dunraven in honour of his daughter-in-law Caroline Wyndham, daughter and heiress of Thomas Wyndham of Dunraven Castle, who in 1810 had married his eldest son and heir, Windham Henry Quin. Valentine Richard Quin's earldom lasted only two years; upon his death to 1824 the title passed to Windham Henry Quin, the second Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl. In 1832 the 2nd Earl of Dunraven who at the time was suffering with gout, was encouraged by his wife Lady Caroline to undertake the building of this vast pile in order to distract him from the pain of his affliction. He never lived to see it completed in 1862, c 12 years after his death. In 1984 it was sold to an Irish-American who has turned it into an upmarket hotel.
○ Caroline Wyndham-Quin, Countess of Dunraven, Memorials of Adare Manor, 1865
● Askeaton Castle
● Ballygrennan Castle
● Black Castle
● BeaghCastle ruin
● Bourchier's Castle
● Carrigogunnell Castle
● Castle Matrix
● Castle Troy
● Clonshire dates from at least the 16th century when a wing was added to the tower containing a new entrance and spiral stair. Yet another lower wing of three storeys was added later at the other end. The castle was held by Jason Crowe in 1641, and by Captain Piggot in 1655.
● Croom Castle Gerald FitzMaurice built a castle here soon after obtaining the manor in c.1200. Although repaired by John Darcy in 1334, most of the remains date probably from the C15 when Croom was held by the earls of Kildare. They subsequently lost it after the rebellion of 1534. William Leo commanded a siege here in 1641 against Edward Perry.
● Desmond's Castle, Adare - castle or fortress is said to have first been built by the O'Donovans, rulers of the region into the late 12th century, and afterwards to have passed into the possession of the Kildare branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, who may be responsible for the majority of the remains of the present fortress (which occurred with Croom Castle, also on the Maigue). Desmond's Castle, as it is popularly known, stands on the north bank of the Maigue.
● Dromore Castle ruin, (notes from 'Abandoned Mansions of Ireland, by Tarquin Blake) A fancy castle, designed in the style of castles on the Rhine - four stories, with turrets, peaks, top of a hill with views, 'dreamlike' - with a huge chapel. Built in 1868 over two years, by the Earl of Limerick. William Hale John Charles Perry. Damp all over. Rectified, then the Earl lived there until he died in 1896. 4th Earl in armies. Abandoned during WW1. 5th Earl sold it to McMahon family, 1939. Occupied until 1950. Dismantled to avoid taxes. 1988, used for film 'High Spirits' with Petero'Toole. The current owner uses the castle stables. Described as "a castle with the most dramatic and remarkable ruins in all Ireland"
○ Gothic revival building perched high above Dromore Lough and designed and built by the architect Edward William Godwin for the Earl of Limerick during the early 1870s. No expense was spared in its construction, the final bill amounting to between £80,000 - £100,000, a colossal sum for those days. The castle was closed at the outbreak of the First World War, and was finally sold by the fifth Earl in 1939. The castle began its slow descent into decay from then on, accelerated somewhat during the 1950s when the roof was removed to avoid the payment of rates. It now stands as a picturesque ruin, its future in doubt.
● Finniterstown Castle once held by the Finniters, that passed from the Earl of Kildare to Edward FitzGerald in 1572, and was a ruin by 1655.
● Glenogra - remains of a castle built c.1400-18 by Thomas, 6th Earl of Desmond; has octagonal corner towers on its river frontage. The castle was in a ruinous state by 1583, and afterwards granted to the Bourchiers, later earls of Bath.
● Glenquin Castle thought to have been built in 1462 by the O’Hallinan clan on the site of an earlier building dating back to 983AD also belonging to them. The castle was taken in battle many times. One of the major families to take it being the O’Brien’s, they were said to have killed all but one of the O’Hallinan’s during the battle. In turn it was taken from the O’Brien’s during the Desmond wars by the Geraldine’s also known as the Fitzgerald’s. They were recorded there until 1571 when the English confiscated their lands and the lands of over 100 of their supporters. It is recorded that parts of the castle were demolished by Sir Walter Raleigh and that in 1587 it was in the hands of the Hungerford’s. In 1591 the castle was handed over to Sir William Courtenay and in 1595 to Captain Collum. The castles record’s then stop until its restoration by the Earl of Devon in 1840. During the uprising in 1916 Glenquin castle was used as West Limerick’s rallying point for the troops and it wasn’t until the 1980’s that further restoration of the castle took place. Glenquin Castle is now under the care of the Office of Public Works as a national monument and they are in the process of repairing and restoring it.
● Glenstal Castle (refs: Irish Houses & Gardens,Country Life Archives, Sean O'Reilly) is situated beside the Tipperary Border of Co.Limerick. In its' present state, it is a Boys' School, run by the Benedictine Order - made an Abbey in 1957 - "a famous Irish school, with the most convincing castle - modern buildings encroach and undermine its' grandiose design, but the castle remains one of the most magnificent attempts at creating an Irish version of the medieval Anglo-Norman castle" (this one not needed for defence, but to evoke ancient times, also as a country home). Baron Joseph Barrington, end of 17th C. was more inclined to business than aristocracy - his son, Sir Matthew Barrington, 2nd Baronet, Crown Solicitor for Munster, modernised ideas for the castle, even before construction began in 1838 (main architect: Englishman, William Bardwell, d.1890). The castle was named after the district Glenstal, where the Limerick estates of Lord Carberry lay. Designs were for a Norman tower to a gatehouse, with traditional Celtic forms inside - much detail. A library has irregular vaulting; and a doorway, modelled after a 12th century portal in Killaloe Cathedral, Co, Clare, intricately carved in 1841, "today is recognised as one of the masterpieces of Irish Romanesque". Outside, there are figurative sculptures on sturdy columns. "In their original form, the features capture the influence of the Viking style, as evident in the Book of Kells". "As part of wider interest in Ireland's national character, the future of this important home, was put in jeopardy by the tragic accidental shooting of the daughter Winifred Frances of the Sir Charles Barrington, 5th.Baronet,, by the IRA in an ambush on the Black & Tans, May,1921, which led to the family's departure and eventual sale in 1925". Fortunately, the castle was bought by Monsignor James Ryan, and taken over by the Benedictines of Belgium, becoming through the influence of an Irish Abbot, an Abbey, and the school was established, as above).
● Glin Castle (Old)
● Glin Castle, Hotel - on the banks of the River Shannon, 30 miles from Limerick. The castle was originally a long thatch house built by in the 1780’s by Colonel Richard Fitzgerald; Knight of Glin and descendent of the Desmond clan, to replace an earlier ruined medieval settlement. The castle was added to by his nephew John Fitzgerald until 1790 when he incorporated the long house into the west wing. He was also responsible for enlarging the main block by adding a hall, grand double flying staircase, two more reception rooms the drawing room and library. The castle is still in the hands of the Knights of Glin with the current owner being the 29th Knight and his wife who are also involved with the auction house ‘Christies’ of London.
● The Grange. (notes from Abandoned Houses of Ireland, by Tarquin Blake).p.212. Standish O'Grady built in 1790. 110 acres.Thomas O;Grady, wealthy, added on.He inherited from Uncle (who gambled, lived in Britain and France, and committed suicide) 1928, Property divided by State.by 1940, left ruined, remains of a wine cellar, a courtyard - and surrounded by many trees.
○ Well preserved but roofless late C16 Fitzgerald tower house that adjoins a substantial early Georgian 3-storey mansion. The tower's four gables rise directly off the outer walls, and there are two circular bartizans at diagonally opposite corners. A circular flanker almost entirely engulfed in ivy lies close to. It was here in 1579 that John, the Earl of Desmond's brother, inflicted a severe defeat on English forces. Following the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, Sir John Fitzgerald fled to France, and the Fitzmaurices who were cousins of the Fitzgeralds became the new owners. The castle passed by marriage in 1780 to Sir Robert Deane who married the Springfield heiress Ann Fitzmaurice. He was awarded the title Baron Muskerry in 1781 and the title Lord Muskerry has stayed at Springfield Castle to this day
● King John's Castle, Limerick City
● Lisnacullia Castle
● Rockstown Castle
● Straffan House In 1831 Hugh Barton of the wine firm Barton and Guestier bought land at Straffan and nearby Barberstown Castle from the Henry family and had Straffan House built whilst he and his wife stayed at Barberstown.
● Springfield Castle West Limerick. Access to Glin – an hour from Shannon; two-and-a-half hours from Dublin. FitzGerald’s west Limerick home, Glin Castle, which has been the ancestral home of the FitzGerald clan for 700 years, was his greatest passion, and where all of his interests – and collections – converged - he immersed himself in his surrounds at the castellated mansion overlooking the Shannon estuary. The castle is on 154 hectares (380 acres) through agent Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €6.5million.
○ Full description and history at Irish Times - homes and property
● Williamstown Castle
● Wotheney Abbey Abbey of Owney, or Wotheney, called also the Abbey of Abbington
References and Sources
Free to follow, request to collaborate
To join the project use the request link under "actions" at the top right of the page.
Geni Wikitext, Unicode and images which gives a great deal of assistance.
See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!
Other Pages for Historic Buildings of Ireland Counties
Historic Buildings of Co. Kilkenny
Historic Buildings of County Tipperary
this project is in History Link