Historic Buildings of County Roscommon
Republic of Ireland
Image right - Roscommon Castle
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 Roscommon, 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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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.
● Athleague Castle Ruins. A 17th century three-storey fortified house in the village of Athleague but with thin walls and apparently lacking any defensive features. It is officially designated a Protected Structure by Roscommon County Council.
● Ballintober Castle, Ruins - probably built by Richard de Burgh in c.1300, although an O'Connor is also credited with its construction, a junior branch of whom captured the castle in 1315. It was back in de Burgh hands in 1333, and from 1385 until 1657 it became the seat of the chiefs known as the O'Connor Don.
● Boyle Abbey now a national monument in state care, located in Boyle, County Roscommon. Their original patrons were the McGreevys, lords of Moylurg and later, after a power struggle, the MacDermott. Building progress was slow, and the church must have taken about sixty years to complete, going from east to west until the final portion was completed around 1220. It was turned into a barracks by the Elizabethans in 1592, and the Cromwellians who besieged it in 1645.
● Castlecoote House and Castle Coote (below) - restored Georgian mansion built on the site of a 16th century Mageraghty clan fortress, with rooms from two original towers of a 17th century star-shaped fort incorporated into the two projecting wings. Refortified during the 1500s by Sir Nicholas Malby, Lord President of Connacht. It was then granted to Sir Charles Coote in 1616, who added additional defences that included flanking lookout towers. During the Confederate Wars of the mid 17th century the castle was subjected to many ferocious battles and both the castle and its original bridge approach over the River Suck were destroyed. Castlecoote House eventually rose from the ruins; built between 1690 and 1720, it was subsequently remodelled in the Palladian style by its new owners the family of John Gunning in the 1750s. Their two notable daughters, the celebrated and beautiful Gunning sisters Elizabeth and Maria, became respectively, the Duchess of Hamilton and Argyle, and the Countess of Coventry. The house stood derelict after it was totally destroyed by fire in 1989 leaving just the outer walls standing. Kevin Finnerty, the present owner purchased it in 1997. He spent the next ten years painstakingly restoring the building. Substantial remains of Sir Charles Coote's improved 17th century fortifications still stand in the grounds of the house with the ruins of three of the four 17th century lookout towers still standing In the basement of the house there are original gunloops and stone flagged floors within the old tower rooms. Today Castlecoote House and Gardens are open to the public during the summer months on certain days.
● Clonalis House Castlerea. Built in 1878 by Charles Owen O'Conor, replacing an earlier house on the same site which was frequently damaged by flooding. Built of mass concrete, its design by the renowned Pepys Cockerell is of a mixture of styles drawing on the traditions of Italianate and Queen Anne Style architecture. The ancestral home of the O'Conor Don, who is a direct descendant of the last High King of Ireland, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair. Once occupied by the Irish Republican Army before it was shelled and captured by Free State Forces during the Irish Civil War 1922-23.
● Donamon Castle a.k.a. Dunamon, Restored Castle - ione of the oldest inhabited buildings in Ireland overlooking the River Suck. There was a fort here from early times, the first recorded reference to "Dún Iomghain" ibeing in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1154. It was the seat of the Ó Fionnachta chief of Clann Chonnmhaigh, one of the two main branches of this Connacht family. In 1232, Adam de Staunton fortified the site further as part of the Norman conquest, but this was retaken and demolished by the native O'Connors the following year. The rebuilt castle was occupied in 1294 by [William de Oddingseles, II William de Oddingseles II, who died in 1295. The de Birminghams then took over but it was again destroyed by the O'Connors and in 1307 replaced by a branch of the Burkes, the head of which was known as MacDavid. The MacDavid Burkes occupied it for the next 300 years. During the seventeenth century wars of conquest and dispossession a junior branch of the Caulfeild family came to own the castle and surrounding territory. They continued to own it throughout the Protestant Ascendancy. In 1939 the Divine Word Missionaries came to Ireland and purchased the castle from the Irish Land Commission. It is still their home in Ireland and the site of the Holiday Centre, a leisure and conference resort as well as being the Irish Wheelchair Association's National Holiday Centre. In late 1932, an IRA unit, under the command of Seán McCool and Mick Price, took over Donamon Castle to set up an IRA training camp.
● Kilronan Castle, Restored Castle
● MacDermott's Castle, Castle Island on Lough Key. Ruins
○ Rindown Castle: a royal fortress in Co. Roscommon, Sheelagh Harbison, J.G.A. & H.S., vol. 47 (1995)
● Rockingham demesne -Lough Key,Moykurg - Stronghold of the McDermot clan until displaced by Cromwell, (notes from Irish Abandoned Houses, by Tarquin Blake) Cromwell commissioned John Nash (1812), the designer for the King family, and architect who later●● designed Trafalgar Sq, and Buckingham Palace. .. History of Castle Island: 1200, Tolmach 'of the Rock' - was the first stone castle on Castle Island, HQ for the McDermot Clan. Una Bhan McDermot died of a broken heart, when split from her lover, McCostello. - they were buried next to each other - two rose trees are entwined over their graves. After Cromwell, house left to decay. 1830, Viscount Lorton transformed it into a folly; he created many follies, including an old McDermot castle on Castle Island. On 10 sept 1957, a fire was discovered in the basement - Rockingham House was gutted, 1959, auctioned - land commissioned and divided among local farmers. 1971, Irish State demolished the House, and replaced it with a concrete viewing tower over Lough Key (gatehouse remaining) William Butler Yeats visited in 1890, planned to return to live, but did not., Rockingham demense, 1839, was a lodge for IRA -2004, sold, Being restored for modern residence (2014)
● Roscommon Castle, Ruins. Mid 13th century, built for the Lord Justice of Ireland Robert de Ufford. When it was rebuilt in c. 1277-8 after it was destroyed by Aedh O'Connor (not long after completion), a courtyard flanked with three storey corner towers, and a large gatehouse were added. In the 1580s the castle became the chief residence of the Governor of Connacht, Sir Nicholas Malby, when the castle was remodelled, and a new range of buildings added. The castle was captured by the Confederate Catholics in 1645, and was later blown up by the Cromwellian commander Reynolds after its surrender in 1652.
○ Possible connection Nicholas Malby
● St. John's Castle, Ruins
● Smith Hill or Smithhill - early 19th-century house east of Elphin, County Roscommon, in Ardnagowan. Smithhill was in the demesne of The Palace at Elphin. It was the residence of the Reverend Oliver Jones, grandfather of the poet, playwright and novelist Oliver Goldsmith, in the early 18th century. It was the home of Robert Jones Lloyd in the late 18th and early 19th century and of the Reverend John Lloyd in 1837. The house was unoccupied at the time of Griffith's Valuation when it was valued at £8 and held by Robert Lynch. The Ordnance Survey Field Name Books record that Goldsmith's father was born at Ardnagowna [or possibly Oliver himself, see Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_Hill_(house), while his mother, Ann Goldsmith (née Jones), was visiting her parents, the Rev. Oliver Jones and his wife. It was later the seat of the Rev. John Lloyd, a kinsman of Oliver Goldsmith. Lloyd was famously murdered by his tenant Owen Beirne. Ballyoughter where Oliver Goldsmith's father was born and where Oliver Goldsmith himself spent part of his childhood is also in the parish of Elphin.
The Lloyds of Smith Hill were a branch of the Lloyds of Croghan. Robert Jones Lloyd of Smithhill House, parish of Elphin, county Roscommon, was a member of the Grand Panel of county Roscommon in 1828. He was married to Susannah Devenish of Rush Hill and died in 1832. He appears to have been a middleman in county Leitrim.
○ see Ancestry Ireland
○ Robert Jones Lloyd of Twickenham, London, owned 300 acres in county Roscommon and 892 acres in county Leitrim.
● Strokestown Park The house was the family home of the Cromwellian "adventurer" family - the Pakenham Mahon's - from the 1600s until 1979.
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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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