Monday, December 28, 2015

Dromoland Castle

Executive summary by darmansjah

The present building was completed in 1835. However, the first building constructed here seems to have been a tower house built in the 15th or early 16th century and is recorded as being erected by Thomas, the son of Shane Mac Anerheny. There were at least three houses on the site, at various times, called Dromoland. While Dromoland later became residence of eight generations of the O'Brien family, early records suggest that the area was also occupied by other local Gaelic families, such as the McInerney family during the 16th century. According to the historian James Frost, Dromoland translates as the "Hill of Litigation".

In 1551 Dromoland was listed in the will of Murrough O'Brien. Murrough bequeathed Leamaneh Castle to his third son Donough MacMurrough O'Brien. He also gave him the castle and lands at Dromoland. Sir George Cusack, the sheriff, took possession of Dromoland. The fourth Earl of Thomond claimed to have sole ownership and tried to exclude Donough's son, Conor MacDonough O'Brien. The Earl, by now Lord Thomond, became owner of Dromoland on payment of Ј132.13.4. in compensation to Slany O'Brien. By 1614 a William Starkey was leasing Dromoland from Lord Thomond. Robert Starkey, son of William, was in residence at Dromoland when the rebellion of 1641 began. Robert Starkey resumed the lease and in 1666 Dromoland was sub-leased to Colonel Daniel O'Brien from Carrigaholt Castle. Finally, in 1684 the freehold was assigned to Donough O'Brien. At this time Dromoland was a modest house. Gazebo on Turret Hill.

Sir Donough, 1st Baronet, died in 1717. Donough's son Lucius also died in 1717 so Edward, son of Lucius, became 2nd Baronet. This first Sir Edward O'Brien decorated the house with pictures and carvings. Dromoland was expanded to a ten-bay, 2 1⁄2-storey house. Edward died in 1765.

Sir Lucius O'Brien was the eldest son of the first Sir Edward. In 1821, it was the birthplace of Edward's brother Robert's son, George O'Brien. The Pain brothers submitted some classical designs but Edward O'Brien chose their neo-gothic designs, influenced by John Nash. Samuel Lewis writing in 1837 described Dromoland as:

Sir Edward died in 1837. His eldest son Lucius was 5th Baronet and 13th Baron Inchiquin.

Burke's Visitation of Seats (1855) gives the following description of Dromoland:

Dromoland has been preserved with little change since that time. In 1962, Donough O'Brien, the sixteenth Baron Inchiquin, sold Dromoland Castle and 350 acres (1.4 km2) because of difficult financial circumstances. He built Thomond House on a hill overlooking Dromoland. Dromoland Castle was bought by United States citizen, Bernard McDonough.

No comments:

Post a Comment