Big Houses and Mansions

The term ‘Big House’ refers to the large country houses, mansions, or estate houses usually owned by members of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. This class controlled almost all the political and economic power in Ireland for several hundred years. The houses were meant to ‘inspire awe among equals and deference in the lower classes’. Many were burn’t down during the Irish War of Independence.

Once the site of a 7th century monastery, A Cistercian abbey & A convent

Moore Abbey, Monasterevin. co.Kildare was built in 1767. This was originally the site of the 7th century monastery of St Evin. In the 12th century it became a rich and powerful Cistercian Monastery and after [...]

One of the finest intact Palladian mansions in Ireland and the first famine museum in the country

Strokestown Park House is located in 300 acres of parklands in Strokestown. co.Roscommon. It was built in 1730 and is regarded as one of Ireland's finest and most intact Palladian mansions. It's centre block was completed in [...]

A grade ‘A’ listed building, A Bishop’s residence & The ancient seat of St. Patrick

The Bishop's Palace (1770) in Armagh is a beautiful neo-Classical building situated in 300 acres of parkland. This was the residence of the Archbishops of the Church of Ireland from 1770 to 1975. It was [...]

A beautiful and rare example of a late c.17th mansion that stills exists in Ireland

The beautiful Beaulieu House (1680) is located 3 miles from the town of Drogheda in co.Louth. This is a rare example of a late c.17th mansion that stills exists in Ireland without alterations. This was [...]

One of the finest early Georgian houses in Ireland containing the oldest piece of Waterford Glass

The Bishop’s Palace in Waterford City was built in 1741 to the designs of the famous architect Richard Cassells (Cassells other works include Westport House, Powercourt House and Russborough House). This was the site of [...]

The official start to the Wicklow Way, a major music venue and a Norman estate

Marlay House is located in 300 acres of the parklands in south Dublin. The origins of this estate can be traced back to the Anglo Norman conquest of Ireland.  The original house here was built [...]

One of the great houses of Ireland with exquisite interiors and furniture

Florence Court located near Enniskillen was the former home of 'The Earls of Enniskillene' and is regarded as one of the great houses of Ireland. It was built in 1755 and is a fascinating example [...]

The earliest and most important of the ‘Big Houses’ of Inishowen

Buncrana Castle, Buncrana. County Donegal           1718 During the 18th century large manor houses like this one were known as 'castles'. This house was built by Colonel George Vaughan in 1718 and is the earliest and [...]

A fantasy castle, The Humes and a ground breaking court case

Humewood Castle was built in 1872 and is located in Kiltegan. co.Wicklow. The Humes formerly lived in a fortified tower house built here in the 15th century which has passed down through successive generations of the [...]

The Guinness family and Ireland’s premier accommodation for dignitaries

Farmleigh Estate is located in Phoenix Park, Dublin City and was originally a small Georgian house.. It was purchased by Edward Cecil Guinness on his marriage to his cousin, Adelaide Guinness in 1873. Edward, the [...]

A castle in transition – guns and flowerboxes

This National Monument is Portumna Castle located in Portumna co.Galway. It was built in 1618 and is regarded as a very interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house [...]

The most historic house in Derry and the story of half hanged McNaughton

Prehen House, Prehen. Derry City   1740   Prehen House is an absolute gem and should really be one of the North West's top attractions. This early Georgian manor house was built in 1740 with the [...]

One of Ireland’s most beautiful historic houses, Croagh Patrick & The Pirate Queen

Westport House was built in 1730 and is considered to be one of Ireland's most beautiful historic homes. It was designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels and James Wyatt. Cassels, born in German, also [...]

The longest, most beautiful and most robbed house in Ireland

Russborough House, Blessington. County Wicklow     1755 Russborough House was built in 1755 and is the longest house in the country with a facade of over 700 feet in length. It is also regarded as one [...]

The Quiet Man, The Guinness Family and Ireland’s premier 5* resort

Ashford Castle is located in Cong on the shores of Lough Corrib in co. Mayo. This is a 5 star luxury hotel which has won numerous global awards. The oldest section of the castle dates [...]

Once the finest country house in Laois & recently voted one of the top 10 castle hotels in the World

Castle Durrow is located in the village of Durrow in co.Laois. This beautiful 'country pile' was built between 1712 and 1716 as a family home by Captain William Flower. Flower was the MP for Kilkenny [...]

A perfect example of an early Georgian mansion with original interiors & a working farm

Newbridge House is located in Donabate in north county Dublin. It is considered a perfect example of an early Irish Georgian mansion. It was built in 1736 for the Archbishop Charles Cobb and designed by [...]

Famous diaries, Completely original interiors & Spectacular sea views

Ardgillan Castle is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the town of Skerries in north county Dublin. It has spectacular views out to the Irish Sea and up to the Mourne Mountains in co. Down. [...]

The birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell

Avondale House is located near the village of Rathdrum in county Wicklow. This was the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (1846 -1891) one of the greatest political leaders in Irish history. The house [...]

Only 200 years to complete this country pile, James Gandon & the Jesuits

Emo Court, Emo. County Laois          1790 Emo Court is a country villa designed, but not built by the famous architect James Gandon. Gandon is best known for his great public buildings in Dublin which include The [...]

Once home to the most powerful family in Ireland

Carton House is located near Maynooth in county Kildare. It was built in 1739 for the Fitzgerald family and designed by the famous architect Richard Cassels whose other works include Leinster House, Powerscourt House and Russborough [...]

Ireland’s largest, finest and earliest Palladian style house

Castletown House is located in Celbridge in county Kildare. It is regarded as Ireland's largest, finest and earliest Palladian style house and is significant in terms of European architectural heritage. It's façade was almost certainly [...]

Residence of the US Ambassador to Ireland, 1776 & JFK

The US Ambassador's Residence (Deerfield) is located in Phoenix Park in Dublin City. It was built in 1776 for Sir John Blaquiere, the Chief Secretary for Ireland which was a akin to being the Prime [...]

Designed on a French Chateaux, the Ryder Cup & Jack B Yeats

The K Club is located in Straffan in county Kildare. The original building here, Straffan House, was built in 1832 during the Regency era by Hugh Barber of the wine firm 'Barber and Guestier' and [...]

The best views of Belfast Lough from one the finest Victorian superpads

Belfast Castle, Cavehill. Belfast City        1870 Belfast Castle is set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park at 400 feet above sea level. It has beautiful gardens and spectacular views overlooking Belfast Lough. Belfast's first [...]

Danny Boy, The O’Cahan’s & The Flight of the Earls

Dungiven Castle, Dungiven. County Derry         1836 Dungiven Castle was the ancestral home of the O' Cahan clan who ruled this area for hundreds of years. In 1607 Sir Donnell O’Cahan was implicated in treason and had [...]

One of Ireland’s most beautiful mansions & voted no.3 best gardens in the World

Powerscourt House was built in 1741 and is located on the Powercourt Estate in Enniskerry, co.Wicklow. It was designed by the famous German architect Richard Cassels (whose other works include Russborough House, Westport House and [...]

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