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This Historic Irish Castle ,dating from the 14th Century, is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited castles in Ireland, and is located on about 157 acres of rural splendour in the heart of Ireland.
Sure to entice and delight.
The history of the Castle is outstanding;
Artifacts as far back as a Bronze Age dagger have been found in its grounds. From its Monastic origins to a Norman settlement, after which the Gaelic Chieftain Eoghan O’Madden built the original castle in 1336 thus making it one of the first Castles in the Country actually built by an Irishman as distinct from a Norman.
Eoghan was the greatest chief the O’Maddens ever had and his kingdom stretched to the west as far as Loughrea. His wife was Norman and he went to the Crusades with his father where he would have learned much about the advantage of fortified dwellings.
The Castle was attacked and burned in a well documented assault in 1595 and confiscated by the Crown. It was granted, together with 6,000 acres to Sir John Moore in 1601 and he was responsible for the existing oak beamed roof. Sir John was sacked from his Government post when it was discovered that he was and remained a Catholic.
The Castle remained in the Moore family until it was taken by Cromwellian soldiers who remained in residence until thrown out on the orders of King Charles II in 1683.
The Castle was garrisoned by Jacobites in 1689 and 1690 and remains of their gun emplacements can still be seen in the grounds but they were expelled by forces loyal to King William after the Battle of Aughrim. Indeed the present owner still has some of the Jacobite “gun money” fallen from the pockets of soldiers in Colonel Oxburghs regiment dating from 1689.
The Moores returned only to lose it again and finally in 1852 as a result of a family lawsuit which lasted over 100 years.
The next incumbent was Dr. Robert Graves, the famous Dublin Doctor who discovered “Graves Disease” of the thyroid. His grandson sold it in 1908 before emigrating to Australia, where his descendants still live.
Other interesting families followed including a man who had expected to become a Lord but lost the title due to an unregistered marriage.
In 1972 Cloghan Castle was still lived in but was much dilapidated before being purchased by the present owners who immediately commenced a major restoration.
Down through the years parts of the Castle were remodeled, including the addition of the Great Hall in the late 18th Century. This double height room has two Galleries supported by old exposed beams and partially exposed stone walls and dominated by a large raised carved Oak fireplace. In addition there is an even more imposing Court Room on the third floor which dates back to the 14th century.
The rest of the accommodation comprises a Dining Room, Drawing Room, Kitchen, 6 Bedrooms, 2 of which are ensuite and 4 Bathrooms, plus an Office, Store Room and Laundry Room all spread over three floors.
For anyone interested in pursuing this lifestyle there is also the option of purchasing some of the existing furniture.
The interior is both striking and comfortable with all the old features faithfully retained. Because of the Cromwellian and Georgian extensions to the Keep it is easy to live in without incessant stair climbing.
Outside the Keep and later additions are completely surrounded by Four Towers and a high Curtain Wall 300 yards in length.
There are also 3 private gardens protected by high stone walls including a herb garden and a graveled terrace.
Trees dot the grass and there are some 80,000 more trees surrounding the grounds which are grazed by a large flock of rare Jacob sheep.
In winter the rivers Shannon and Little Brosna flood to create a wildlife sanctuary, a seven mile long lake, upon which nearly 40,000 wild birds come to feed.
Owing to its historical significance this property qualifies for favorable tax exemptions providing it is open to the public on occasions. As it is listed as a national historical monument it also enables improvements and maintenance to be set off against income tax and it can be passed upon death without incurring death duties.
Wildlife at Cloghan Castle:
Four hundred years ago the Estate consisted of over 6000 acres but was gradually reduced over the years to less than 160 acres by 1972 when the present owner purchased it together with 1500 acres of shooting rights.
In winter when the River Shannon floods, the waters back up the Little Brosna River creating a seven mile lake at the back of Cloghan Castle and into that Winter Lake come over 30,000 wild birds from white fronted Greenland geese and swans to ducks of many varieties.
Some days it is possible to walk to the waters edge to view the birds feeding, only to have as many as 5,000 birds fly overhead in alarm.
Realizing that it would be prohibitively expensive to keep shooters out the owner decided to make the shooting rights over to the Irish Government who added extra protection to a further 500 acres to make a 2,000 acre bird sanctuary which is now one of the finest in the country. By planting 73,000 trees (mostly Oak and Beech) around the Castle Parkland he has created an ideal sanctuary for wild birds and animals.
A walk around the estate will usually bring the reward of sightings of herons, ducks, deer, badgers, foxes, hawks, hares and countless small birds. One has only to walk in the surrounding area to see where the wildlife is hiding. A walk through the woods, past old beech trees and ferns to the 800 acre Red Bog (a mass of red heather in summer) and on to the water sluices on the Shannon at Meelick is something to gladden the heart of any nature lover.
The castle itself sits on the contour line exactly 50 feet above sea level. The large stone exactly marking that spot in 1827 is still in place. The front (north) park is an Archaeologists dream with remains of ancient dwellings and 1689 gun emplacements.
The Cloghan Castle Estate was purchased in 1972 by a manwho wanted a haven of peace in times of stress and overwork. He found it here and only old age is making him prepared to give it up, with great reluctance.
Because of its historical significance – it figured in the Elizabethan, Cromwellian and Jacobite wars – Cloghan Castle qualifies for special tax exemptions provided it is open to the public at certain times.
Further details are available from the Joint Agents:
Helen Miryam Cassidy, B.A.(Mod) IAVI, Auctioneer and Valuer, Clonbur House, Clonbur,
County Galway Ireland: Landline; 09495 46868
Mobile: 087 2463748
HELEN CASSIDY AUCTIONEERS IS A MEMBER FIRM OF THE IAVI.
Nigel Craughwell, Auctioneers: Birr, County Offaly: Tel: 057 9125800
These particulars are intended to give a fair description of the property only and are in no way guaranteed, nor do they form part of any contract. They are issued on the express condition that all negotiations are conducted through Helen Cassidy and Nigel Craughwell. All properties are offered subject to contract and to being unsold.