near Ardsollus and Latoon Bridge, County Clare, Ireland
Dromoland Castle is situated 8 miles from Shannon in the west of Ireland. It is set in over 400 acres of landscaped grounds on the side of a lake.
The castle is approached by a long sweeping drive from the lodge. It is a gothic revival or Baronial building made entirely from dark blue limestone with four irregular castellated turrets and a later Queen Anne addition. The castle is set in formal gardens with the lake to the west.
Dromoland Castle is now a 5 star hotel offing facilities such as a championship golf course, many country sports as well as a spa and falconry centre.
It has 98 bedrooms all decorated in a French style with luxurious furnishings and bathrooms. There are two restaurants; the Earl of Thomomd dining room overlooking the lake and the fig tree restaurant adjacent to the rose garden. During the evening the Library hosts a cocktail bar with music in the form of Irish Ballads.
The first building on the site was by Thomas MacAnerheny in the late 15th, early 16th century and was a tower house similar to Bunratty. It was home to the O’Brien family for eight generations.
During 1543 the castle was rebuilt by Murrough O’Brien and over one hundred years later the most powerful branch of the family moved to Dromoland. In 1730 Sir Edward built the turret on the hill opposite to allow him to watch his racehorses and the second Queen Anne style castle was built on the estate which included a quadrangle courtyard and guestrooms. In 1800’s the present main gothic building of the castle was rebuilt.
In 1921 the IRA called for the destruction of the castle but the decision was reversed and the O’Brien’s remained in residence but in 1948 were forced to take paying guests to keep the castle running. It was eventually sold in 1962 to Bernard McDonough; an American of Irish ancestry with the O’Brien’s still keeping part of the estate to continue to run the farm and sporting activities. The new owner ordered major renovations and today a consortium of Irish American investors owns the castle and estate.
Other Castles in the Area
Adare Manor, County Limerick
Ardamullivan Castle, County Galway
Askeaton Castle, County Limerick
Bunratty Castle, County Clare
Carrigogunnell Castle, County Limerick
Desmond Castle, County Limerick
Dysert Castle, County Limerick
Dysert O'Dea Castle, County Clare
Fiddaun Castle, County Galway
Glin Castle, County Limerick
King Johns Castle, County Limerick
Knappogue Castle, County Clare
Leamaneh Castle, County Clare
Shanid Castle, County Limerick