Cloghan Castle, Banagher

Co Offaly
€975,000   Guide price (€975,000 )


A truly fascinating and historical castle residence, believed to be one of the oldest inhabited castles in Ireland dating back to the 14th century.


Banagher 4.8 km
Birr 21 km
Dublin 146 km
Dublin Airport 152 km
Shannon Airport 111 km
Galway 123 km

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Further Information

The outstanding feature of Cloghan Castle is its completely private setting in beautiful parkland dotted with mature, ancient and ornamental trees.
The wonderful 600 year old castle is not only surrounded by its own high stone walls and towers but some of its guarding yew trees are thought be much older.
The mile long drive is entirely tree lined while also with a vista of the battlements in the distance.

The castle was open to the public for many years with three tour guides on duty.
Many newspapers and magazines have written about Cloghan Castle.
The independent guide Let's Go in 1997 chose the castle as the "best in Ireland" - "the place they loved".
The Midland Tribune wrote "magnificent, spacious and luxuriously furnished".
Woman's Way magazine called it "an exquisite family home".
The London Financial Times called it "fairy tale Cloghan Castle".
The Offaly Independent wrote: "Visitors to Cloghan Castle are really made to feel at home. This is a welcoming home which still manages to retain the character of a medieval stronghold".

The present owner has written a book to be published; starting with a Bronze Age dagger found in the front park; the Monastery of St Cronan 1,400 years ago; the coming of the Normans 800 years ago; and the capture of the land in battle in 1336 by the famous Prince and Clan Chief Eoghan of the O'Maddens, who was a noted builder of castles of stone and wood.

There was once a crossing of the River Shannon at Meelick, two miles west of Cloghan Castle and for at least 1,000 years the main road from some of the monasteries passed by the castle.
The English Army captured the castle in a well documented battle in 1595 and the Crown granted it 6,000 acres to Sir John Moore whose descendants were noted horsemen and winners of three Victoria Crosses.

The Cromwellian armies were here from 1650 until 1683 and it was then occupied by soldiers of Colonel Oxburgh's regiment for King James II in 1689. Some Jacobite money dated 1689 has been found in the yew walk and the remains of the Jacobite gun emplacements in the front park.

The castle was enlarged by the son of Sir John Moore in 1625 (now comprising the great hall and bedrooms above).


Ground Floor
The castle front entrance is flanked by guard towers. This in turn leads through a walled garden to an entrance porch and the great hall. The great hall is a two-storied room with eight windows, a fine Georgian plastered ceiling and a large wooden carved mantelpiece. The arms and armorial banners relate to past occupiers.

The original front door into the keep leads to a little hallway. On the left is a door opening into the stone spiral staircase leading all the way up to the battlements. To the right is the little chapel which is thought to have been a monk's cell from the days of St Cronans Monastery.

The next room, formerly the "main guard," is now the dining room. Here a huge stone fireplace is kept lit for most of the year.

Many centuries ago a passageway was dug through the twelve- foot-thick walls leading to an outer porch and a spacious, well lit kitchen. The stone flags and beams are reminders of a different past.

The rooms beyond the kitchen once served as separate staff accommodation and could easily be made so again.

First Floor
From the Great Hall the main staircase leads to a bright landing overlooking the main room. It is now used as a library and leads to the drawing room – a bright, well lit, elegant room with a white marble fireplace thought to be 300 years old. The wooden carved panels and the windows are thought to be 250 years old.

Second Floor
There are four bedrooms on this floor and two bathrooms. All have fine views out over the gardens and park.

Third Floor
Access to this floor is via the old stone staircase. In ancient times the higher your rank the higher up the castle you resided. One enters the small Butler's Room, which in recent times had a four poster bed, but it is now used for storage. Off it is a two-storey room with exposed beams and a fireplace.
It is thought to have been built after the 1595 battle - around 1620. There is a small balcony - for a sentry to watch and guard the chief. This dramatic room is below the battlements. The views from there are breathtaking.

The space between the floorboards and the state bedroom below has been extremely well insulated - as has the roof space above all the other bedrooms.

The Lands
The castle lands fall into three categories: In all there is approx. 63.5 ha (157 acres).
28.3 ha (70 acres) of woodlands planted 20 years ago and thousands of other trees of very much older vintage.
Permanent pastures under which lie many archaeological features.
16.2 ha (40 acres) of pasture which flood in winter when the rivers flood. These lands are feeding grounds for White-Fronted Greenland Geese.

From the battlements most of the estate is clearly visible giving the impression of a very private small kingdom.

The Gardens
The castle is surrounded by four towers and a gated entrance with high stone walls, some three hundred yards in length.
Two gardens are enclosed within the walls and there is a separate walled enclosure with an ancient yew walk and a double grass tennis court.

Well water, mains electricity and septic tank.

Special Designations
The estate is held within a SPA (special preservation area) SAC (special area of conservation) national heritage area, national historic monument and listed archaeological sites.

The present owner has purchased and restored 70 historic buildings in four countries, but Cloghan Castle was always in his heart. He has spent over forty years on its restoration and preservation.

Fixtures and Fittings
Most light fixtures, carpets and drapes.

BER Details - BER Exempt

Area Guide

Birr - The annual Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival takes place in the town in August. The festival includes a variety of events over the week long period including the vintage parade, period markets, music & theatre.
The Irish Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place in September from the grounds at Birr Castle.
The Irish Game and Country Fair takes place in Birr Castle at the end of August and provides a huge range of entertaining and educational activities, displays and attractions over the weekend.
Birr Theatre and Arts Centre located in the Oxmantown Mall is an important cultural & social amenity for the arts, dance, film music & theatre in the town.

Cloghan Castle is in Lusmagh (the plain of healing herbs) between the River Shannon and the Little Brosna River. In winter the valley floods, creating a seven mile lake, into which come over 30,000 birds. The lands abound with deer and there are red squirrels, pine martens, badgers, and foxes.
Local gun clubs provide shooting in permissible areas. The Ormonde provides the hunt and the rivers are an angler's paradise.

The River Shannon is the longest navigable waterway in Europe.

Take the N7 to Roscrea and then to Birr then to Banagher. Take the Banagher bypass to Lusmagh. At Lusmagh Church keep to the right and take 2nd road on right, signposted to the castle.

Alternatively: From Dublin Take the R148, N4 to M4, Follow M4 and M6, Take exit 7 from M6. Follow the R444, N62 and R356 drive straight through Banagher. Then follow the L3102 until you come to a crossroads, drive straight through following the signpost towards the castle.


Energy Performance

*Currency rates are updated daily at approximately 01:00 GMT | Property Reference Number: GBCOUNDUY070235

Contact Property Agent

Harriet Grant

Savills Dublin - Country

20 Dawson Street

Dublin 2

Dublin 2

+ 353 (0) 1 663 4350