Castle Oliver (Clonodfoy)

Castle Oliver


Location: County Limerick Map

Constructed: 1658 by Captain Robert Oliver

Official site


Castle Oliver is a magnificent chateau in the south County Limerick in Ireland. Oliver Castle was erected in 1658 by Captain Robert Oliver.


History of castle Oliver

The land on which the castle and estate Oliver received ownership in 1658, captain Robert Oliver – one of the officers of Oliver Cromwell, who suppressed the rebellion for Irish independence 1641-1652 years. After the suppression of the rebellion, the land was confiscated from the previous owners and distributed to British soldiers and officers. The present castle Oliver replaced the old castle Oliver, which stood a thousand yards from the present castle. Old castle Oliver was the birthplace of Eliza Oliver-mother of the notorious Lola Montez-mistress and favorite of king Ludwig I of Bavaria.

For many centuries, the castle was known as castle Klonoff. Klonoff the name comes from the ancient Irish name of the area: forestry and hunting Committee of an Otahd – Stone Otbah (Otway).

A descendant of captain Robert Oliver-Richard Oliver married a lady who was heir to a large fortune in Yorkshire. As a result of the marriage, he inherited considerable wealth and property in West Yorkshire, and left Ireland, settled in Parlington Hall near the Abbey, leaving castle Oliver in a deplorable state in the hands of the bailiff. Their daughters, Maria Isabella and Elizabeth Oliver Gasken, were both married to men from the trench Woodlawn family of County Galve. Younger sister Elizabeth married Frederick Mason Trench II Baron Ashtan in 1852. The sisters were highly skilled craftsmen who were engaged in the design and execution of both stained glass Windows. Much of their work has survived. The elder sister, Maria Isabella, was a highly skilled woodworker, she published (under a male pseudonym) an authoritative book on the subject: "the Art of woodworking", which is still an important source of information on the subject.

The sisters engaged in the repair of Oliver castle in 1845. The restoration and rebuilding of the castle was designed by York architect George Fowler Jones. The rebuilding was carried out in the Scottish baronial style. The castle is built of local pink Sandstone, which was mined on the estate. Fowler Jones built several notable structures for the sisters in the North of England, including charities and churches. While Mary Isabella and her husband were building their house in Yorkshire in Gaskeny (Parlington Hall), Elizabeth and her husband were building castle Oliver. The house was later inherited by Elizabeth's descendant, the Hon. William Cosby trench.


The last member of the trench family to live at Oliver castle, Mrs. Lynn trench, sold the castle to racing driver Billy Coleman in 1978. After that, the castle changed owners several times, eventually became the property of the local Bank, divided the estate into separate lots. The castle itself could not be sold, the castle began to collapse. In addition, the castle was destroyed by vandals and thieves. Castle Oliver appeared in the book the destroyed houses of Ireland.

In 1988, the castle was acquired by Damian Haughton, which, according to the next owner, stopped the destruction of the castle. In 1998, Nicholas brown bought the castle, continued the restoration work and turned it into a residential building. In 2006, Oliver castle became the property of Declan and Emma Cormack, who performed full restoration work and made the castle their home. In 2015, the Cormacks sold it to an unnamed family from Melbourne, Australia, using the castle "for a few months of the year".