Cabra Castle

Cabra Castle


Location: Cabra Village, Cavan County

Official site


The name of Cabra Castle is actually given to two castles. One is medieval and lies in ruins. The other one is more recent and today is converted to luxurious hotel. The castle is surrounded by 100 acres of parkland.


The castle was built in the first decade of the 19th century in a mixture of new-Norman and neo-Gothic architecture. The exterior is rather new-Norman, while the interior is more like Neo-Gothic. This building was originally called Cormey Castle, or Cormy Castle after the Townland where it was built. The client was the Foster family, a local Protestant "Ascendancy" family. The cost of construction, however, drove the Foster family to Ruin. Therefore, in 1813, shortly after completion, they had to sell it to their richer neighbours, the Pratt dynasty. These were also Protestants.

At that time, the Pratt aristocrat family lived across the street in Cabra House on the Cabra Estate, the large family estate. Cabra Estate has belonged to this family since 1699. In 1813 Colonel Joseph Pratt added The New Cormey Castle and a large part of The Associated estate to his Cabra Estate. Cormey Castle replaced the original Cabra House as the seat of the Pratt family in County Cavan. Around 1820, the Cormey Castle family renamed Cabra Castle.

The ruins of the Old Cabra House can be seen on a slight hill near Wishing Well in today's DĂșn-A'-Ri Forest Park, formerly part of the Cabra Estate. The forest Park is one of today Coillte, a forestry company of the Irish government.

Major Mervyn Pratt belonged to Cabra Castle and the Cabra Estate from 1927 until his death in 1950. It's located at Crossmolina in County Mayo. The Major was followed by his nephew, Tan Sri Dr. Mubin Sheppard, a long-serving civil servant of the British Colonial Service in Malaysia. He was the last member of the Pratt dynasty that belonged to Cabra Castle. In 1964 he sold the castle to an Irish Catholic family, the Brennans, because of the high maintenance costs for the castle and country estate. This transformed the castle into a Hotel, and it remained so until its sale in 1986 to a Mr Mansour, a senior politician and businessman from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Mansour closed the Hotel to convert it back into a private castle. The renovation to old splendour but ultimately failed.

In 1991, Mansour Cabra Castle sold to the Corscadden family, which operates a number of Hotels. They renovated the castle and turned it into a four star luxury hotel. The castle is located near the borders of County Cavan to county Monaghan and County Meath. Today, the park of Cabra Castle is about 40 hectares in size.