Kinnitty Castle (Cionn Eitigh)

Kinnitty Castle


Location: R421 regional road between Kinnitty and Cadamstown Map

Official site

Kinnitty Castle stands on the R421 regional road between Kinnitty and Cadamstown in the County Offaly in Ireland. Modern Kinnitty Castle was constructed on the grounds of the destroyed St. Finnian's monastery. The cross of the former abbey is still visible today. Additionally local legends claim that a ghostly monk walks the grounds of the castle. He is usually associated with bad events that about to unfold to the people who saw him. Kinnitty Castle is open to the public and today houses a beautiful hotel and a restaurant.


History of kinnitty castle

Kinnitty castle was built after the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland in 1171. However, In 1209 kinnitty castle was destroyed by the Irish clans. In 1213 the castle was restored. For a time the castle was the Abbey of the Augustinians of St. Finnian. Nearby were built structures of the monastery, also known as the Monastery of the High cross and the Abbey Wall. The ruins of these structures can still be traced. The Normans held Kinnitty castle for a short time. These lands and the castle won the Irish clan of O ' Carroll of Ely, had in these lands their own Kingdom. In 1630, William O'carroll built a new castle near the old Abbey. In 1641, a rebellion broke out for Irish independence. After the suppression of the rebellion, the castle was confiscated from the owners for supporting the rebels. These lands began to be called the Royal earldom. The castle and lands were for some time in the possession of the king of England. In 1664, the castle and lands of Kinnitty were granted to Colonel Thomas Winter for military service to the king. Thomas winter's descendants sold the castle and lands to Thomas Bernard. The castle began to be called Bernard's castle. The castle was inherited by Thomas's son, also Thomas Bernard, who was a member of Parliament.

In 1811, lady Catherine Hutchison-wife of Thomas Bernard Jr. rebuilt the castle in neo-Gothic style. The reconstruction was carried out by architect James Payne. In this form, the castle has come down to our time. Thomas Bernard was succeeded by his son Colonel Thomas Bernard, Lord Lieutenant and high Sheriff of Offaly in 1837. He died unmarried in 1882. The castle was inherited by his niece's husband, captain Caulfield French. He was appointed high Sheriff of County Offaly in 1887.

In 1922, during the Irish war of independence, the castle became the site of IRA fighting and was burned. But the castle was restored in 1928 thanks to a grant from the government of Ireland, which was £ 32,000. The Bernard family lived in the castle until 1946. The castle was then sold to Lord Desys, who sold it to the state of Ireland in 1951. In 1951-1985, the castle Was the technical school of the Forest. Then the castle was bought by the Ryan family from County Limerick. The rayani converted the castle into a 4 star hotel. 37 bedrooms and a Banquet hall were completed. The hotel was unprofitable and the castle became the property of the Bank "KVS". In 2015, the castle was bought by its current owner. Investors in the restoration of the castle are Derek Warfield-founder of the group "wolf Tones" ("wolf howl"), Colin Breen-owner of "Fo green fields Pub" in Tampa (USA, Florida). After reconstruction, the castle continues to function as a hotel and as a venue for conferences and weddings.