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Lisnabin Castle, County Westmeath
View for the northwest.
Reg. No.15402014
Date1820 - 1830
Previous NameN/A
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates255323, 253010
Original Usecountry house
In Use Ascountry house
Detached three-bay two-storey (with dormer storey) castellated country house, built c.1824, having corner turrets on octagonal plan to corners and (slightly taller) turrets on octagonal plan to each side of central bay to entrance façade (northeast). Three-storey battlemented tower (on square-plan) rising from the centre of the house. Curved section of battlemented curtain wall runs away to the northwest side terminated by castellated gateway with pointed segmental-headed arch having cast-iron double gates, which is flanked by two-storey octagonal turrets. Gateway gives access to stable block and coach house (15402032) behind castle (southwest). Hipped natural slate roof with dormer range (added c.1912) hidden behind battlemented parapet. Constructed of rubble limestone with extensive ashlar limestone trim, including projecting string courses, chamfered plinth course and dressings to openings. Turrets constructed of ashlar limestone with incised cross motifs. Doorcase set in section of dressed limestone. Square-headed window openings with hoodmouldings over, chamfered cut stone sills and twelve-over-twelve pane timber sliding sash windows with decorative timber tracery to heads. Pointed-arched window openings with hoodmouldings over to central two octagonal towers. Central square-headed doorcase in chamfered surround with timber double doors with Gothic decoration. Doorcase flanked by sidelights. Set back from road in extensive mature grounds with stable block/ coach yard southwest (15402032), range of outbuildings arranged around a central courtyard to the south (not accessed) and a gate (15402015) and gate lodge to the northeast (15402033). Located to the northwest of Killucan in mature parkland.


A fine and distinguished early nineteenth-century castellated country house, which retains its early form, character and its important early fabric. Lisnabin has a distinctive picturesque appearance that has an instant visual appeal. It has the appearance of a typical late-Georgian symmetrical house with an applied layer of Gothic detailing to the exterior and is not really a Gothic castle on the sprawling irregular scale of Knockdrin Castle (15401322) or Tullynally Castle (15400321), for example. Lisnabin Castle was reputedly built for Edward Purdon in 1824 after the previous house burnt down in 1819. Some sources suggest that this house is the castellation of a late eighteenth-century structure, which was not an uncommon practice during the early nineteenth-century (for example Killua Castle, Clonmellon 15306023). It is not impossible that the shell of the burnt out house was used in the construction of the present edifice, which could explain its unusually symmetrical form for a Georgian Gothic castle. This is difficult to confirm as the interior layout/plan is similar to many early nineteenth-century country houses in Ireland and the castle was described as 'a handsome castellated mansion recently erected', by Lewis in his 'Topographical Dictionary of Ireland', published in 1837. The Purdon Family had a number of other country seats in Westmeath during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including nearby Huntingdon House (15402011), Joristown House, Raharney (demolished) and Curristown House, Killucan (demolished). Lisnabin was the site of a 'castle' recorded in the Down Survey (1654-6). It is possible that some of the fabric was incorporated into the present structure. Lisnabin Castle remains an important element of the architectural heritage of Westmeath and forms the centerpiece of an attractive collection of demesne related structures with the associated outbuildings to the south and southwest (15402032) and the gate (15402015) and gate lodge (15402033) to the northeast.
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