A historic building in a storied land...
The History of The Lodge...
The clan of the O’Reilly’s ruled this eastern portion of Breifne during medieval times until dispossessed during the Norman Invasion. They were succeeded by the Plunkett Family, whose most famous son was canonised as St Oliver Plunkett in 1975. They in turn were dispossessed in 1655 when all 180,000 acres of this rich land was ceded to the Naper Family.
Construction of Loughcrew House began in the early 19th century when the family enlisted the services of esteemed architect Charles Robert Cockerell. Since returning from the “Grand Tour” this classicist had won major commissions in England including the Bank Of England, the Ashmolean Museum & the Sun Assurance Office London. Cockerell arrived in Cork and travelled to Oldcastle to design Loghcrew House and Lodge for James Napper and that this ranked as his largest commission in the 1820s. Sadly the house was destroyed by fire in the 1950’s. The surviving Greek Doric limestone structure, visible from the Lodge, represents what was once one of the most important houses in Ireland’s East. You'll find more information about the house here: LOUGHCREW HOUSE
ST. OLIVER PLUNKETT
The lands at Loughcrew Estate, to which the Lodge belongs, were originally owned by the Plunkett family. Indeed tradition holds that the unfortunate Saint Oliver Plunkett was born in a 16th century tower house on the property in 1625. The Plunkett's family church is certainly on the estate and can be accessed today through the beautiful gardens at Loughcrew house.
LOUGHCREW NEOLITHIC CAIRNS
The surrounding countryside is steeped in history. Nearby Loughcrew Cairns, also known as the Hills of the Witch, are a group of Neolithic passage tombs dating to 3000 BC. It is possibly the oldest cemetery in the world. It contains some of the most beautiful examples of Neolithic art in Ireland. During the Vernal and Autumn Equinox people gather at dawn in Cairn T to watch sunlight enter the chamber and illuminate the inside of the tomb. But it’s also a lovely place from which to sit and watch either the sun rise or set over the lush green landscape and to imagine what life was like for Ireland’s forefathers. You'll find more information about Ireland's Ancient East here: CAIRNS