Fáilte/Welcome | Feedback | Site Maprssfacebookicon

Main Record - County Westmeath

Additional Images     View location on map
print-icon   Print This Page
Ballinlough Castle, County Westmeath
View from the west.
Reg. No.15400906
Date1600 - 1800
Previous NameN/A
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates264504, 265630
Original Usecountry house
In Use Ascountry house
Detached seven-bay two-storey country house, built or rebuilt c. 1740, with advanced three-bay two-storey section to the centre of the entrance front (west). Possibly incorporating the fabric of an earlier fortified house, built c.1600. Modified, c.1790, with addition of a third floor/attic storey to advanced breakfront to west entrance front. Extended, c.1790, with the addition of a four-bay two-storey Gothic wing to the north end having three-storey turrets on circular plan to the northwest and northeast corners. Pitched natural slate roofs hidden behind raised castellated parapets (erected c.1790). Large rendered chimneystack to the north with a Tudor Gothic-style chimneystack to the south end. Roughcast rendered walls with projecting dressed limestone string courses to the main façade (west). Cut stone plaque/coat of arms, dated 1617, to centre of third floor/attic storey to advanced breakfront. Parapet constructed of rubble limestone. Square-headed window openings with cut stone sills and timber sliding sash windows having exposed sash boxes to earlier sections to south. Pointed arched openings to corner towers to north extension having timber sliding sash windows with timber Y-tracery to heads. Hoodmouldings to window openings on c.1790 extension. Segmental pedimented doorcase to centre of breakfront to the west having timber panelled door and moulded limestone architraved surround. Ballinlough Castle is set in extensive mature grounds, now mainly in use as a golf course, with lake adjacent to the north. Located to the south of Clonmellon Village.


A highly picturesque and elegant castellated country house, which retains its early form, fabric and character. This very fine residence has evidence of at least two distinct building periods, with the early Georgian house to the south end being given an extensive castellated Gothic remodelling and a Gothic extension to the north in the last years of the eighteenth century. It has been suggested that perhaps Wyatt or, more convincingly, Thomas Wogan Browne were responsible for this later remodelling. Indeed, the later had family connections with Hugh O'Reilly, the owner of Ballinlough Castle at the time. The carved coat of arms, dated 1614, and the Tudor Gothic chimneystack to the south end suggest that this present structure may contain the fabric of an earlier fortified house on or close to this site. Ballinlough Castle has been the home of the O'Reilly Family since the later Middle Ages, representing a rare example of a large country estate remaining in Catholic hands during the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Ireland. Hugh O'Reilly changed the family surname to Nugent after accepting a baronetcy in 1812. A number of members of the Nugent Family of Ballinlough Castle served with distinction in the Austrian Army throughout the nineteenth century with Andrew Nugent, Son of Hugh O'Reilly, achieving the rank of General and later became the Governor of Vienna and a Count of the Holy Roman Empire the early decades of the century. The Nugent line largely died out in the late nineteenth-century, possibly on account of these military leanings, and Ballinlough Castle was earmarked for demolition by the Land Commission before Sir Hugh Nugent returned to the house in 1927 to begin the work of restoration. Ballinlough Castle forms the centerpiece of an important collection of related structures and is an appealing element in the landscape to the south of Clonmellon, being located in extensive mature parkland grounds.
Back To Results