Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Galway Pheonix

The de Burgo (Burke) family moved their seat of power to Portumna when Richard, the 4th Earl of Clanrickarde, built the magnificent semi-fortified manor on the shores of Lough Derg sometime before 1618. At the time it cost £10,000 and included a 1,400-acre demesne.

Architecturally, the building marks the transition from the medieval Tower House to the Renaissance style manor house with complimentary influences from both periods. 



The Castle was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1826 but in 1948 the Irish State purchased the castle and remedial work started in 1968. The Office of Public Works re-roofed the building following extensive archaeological and historical research and their programme of conservation and partial restoration works still continues.

The ground floor of the castle is open to the public and houses an exhibition on the history of the de Burgo family, the restoration of the building and a DVD presentation bringing the story to life. 


The first of the three gated entrances.

Detail of the pedestrian gate.

An inside view of the first entrance.


The second gated entrance.


He never said a word.



The third gated entrance beyond them
the formal gardens.

The formal garden to the north, geometrically laid-out, contains a Willow Maze incorporating several different willow varieties and a central path lined with espalier fruit trees under planted with lavender.

A 17th-century pottage kitchen garden has also been restored to its original splendour and organically planted with flowers, herbs, hollies, and vegetables. The garden offers the visitor an ideal opportunity to  experience the gardening layout and techniques of the past.

An aerial view.

I have been driving through Portumna for many years and only ever stopping occasionally in the town for ice creams and at other times to give our Toby a run in the Forest Park.
So I was really pleased to find this old relic from a former age sitting quietly on the banks of the
River Shannon and hope that it continues to do so.










18 comments:

  1. Love the aerial view of the garden. I like the idea of preserving the old houses.

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    1. Thank you for the comment Janet and I agree with you.

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  2. Hi Mel - it looks a fascinating place ... and how good that some of the conservation is in place, while the records, such as they are, are on show. Completely different to the architecture we seem to have over the water - yet the gardens look similar ... but I'd love to see them ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hello Hilary !
      I rather thought that you would appreciate a peek a this property. I shall return and next time I will take the tour - we were pushed for time last weekend with other places to see. Thank you for the comment.

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  3. Very beautiful place Heron and what an imposing entrance that is.

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    1. Thank you for the comment Pat and what really amazed me was the three sets of entrances to pass through before gaining access to the castle.

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  4. What a beautiful place and all those grand entrances are incredible. Definitely will have to try and visit this sometime. I wonder if the dvd ia available to the public.

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    1. Well certainly Bill the DVD is shown to the public and as your name Burke indicates the de Burgo would be your ancestors.

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  5. VEry interesting! What beautiful old places!

    Linda

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    1. Very glad you like them and thank you for commenting Linda.

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  6. My maiden name is Doyle...Ireland has been a destination of desire for many years, from my great grandfather through me...I love your views.

    Linda

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    1. Right so !
      Ireland is a beautiful country and you might feel at home when you visit :-)

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  7. Thanks for another beautiful and fascinating post. We've got a good friend here who is a green-eyed blonde from Northern Spain. Last name, Del Burgo. I'm going to have to do some research!

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    1. Thank you for your appreciation Mitchell. I think that your friend belongs to the same family. Extra to that the de Burgo's came to Ireland as part the Anglo-Norman Invasion in 1170.

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  8. Those gates are magnificent. Such a beautiful place, I am so glad it is being looked after.

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  9. Oh we all are for in some areas a lot of historic buildings, especially in Dublin have been flattened.

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  10. Did your monasteries and priories suffer under the Suppression, as the English ones did? It looks a very beautiful and peaceful place.

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    1. I think you meant this comment for the later blog post 'PORTUMNA PRIORY' ?

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