Markree Castle

Markree Castle



Location: Collooney Map

Constructed: 14th century



Markri Castle was built in the 14th century by the McDonagh clan to protect its lands and ford across the Unshin River. In 1641, a rebellion broke out for the independence of Ireland. Clan McDonagh supported the uprising. The uprising was drowned in blood by Oliver Cromwell. Markri Castle was captured by English troops. Oliver Cromwell bestowed the Cornet Castle on Edward Cooper, who served in his army when she defeated the Irish clan O'Brien. In 1663, Edward Cooper partially restored the castle and made it his residence. Conor O'Brien died in battle with the British troops. Edward Cooper married his widow, Mayre Roy (Red-haired Mary). With their two sons, they settled in the castle of Dromoland. One son - Donokh remained to live in the castle of Dromoland. Another son inherited the castle of Markri. The current owner of the castle, Charles Cooper, is a direct descendant of this son.

During the so-called Jacobite wars of the late XVII century, the castle was captured by the troops of Catholic King James II. The owners of the castle - the Coopers, who were supporters of the Protestants, had to flee. After the battle on the Boyne River, King James II left Ireland; in 1690, Coopers returned to the castle. During the Irish Revolutionary War of 1919-1922, the Irish Republican Army captured the castle.

In 1830, Colonel Edward Joshua Cooper (1798-1863) - a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, the eldest son of Edward Singh Cooper, also a member of the parliament and daughter of Henry Wansittart, Governor of Bengal, rebuilt and renovated the castle, created an astronomical observatory in Markry Castle. For quite some time, the Cooper telescope has been the largest telescope in the world. Lord Cooper and his assistant Andrew Graham worked at the observatory. The Royal Astronomical Society in 1851 considered this observatory one of the best in the world. The observatory worked until the death of Edward Henry Cooper in 1902.

In 1848, the castle was visited by Cecil F. Alexander and wrote in the castle his famous hymn “About All Creatures, Beautiful and Reasonable” (All Things Bright and Beautiful). Many buildings of the castle date back to 1802. They were implemented by the architect Francis Johnston. Some changes were made in 1896.

The lowest temperature in the history of Ireland during the observation period was officially recorded at Castle Markrey January 16, 1881 and amounted to -19.1 ° C (-2.4 ° F).

British Army officer Brian Cooper inherited the castle after the death of his father in 1902 and lived there with his family for a long time (except during the First World War) until his death in 1930.


After World War II, the castle was abandoned and gradually turned into ruin. In 1989, Charles Cooper restored the castle and turned it into a hotel. The hotel was managed by Charles and Mary Cooper. It was already the 10th generation of Coopers living in this castle. In 2015, the castle changed hands - at present, the castle is owned by the Korskadden family.

Around the castle are 300 acres of protected land. Squirrels, otters, kingfishers and other representatives of the Irish fauna live there.

A monumental staircase goes to the castle entrance, and stairs also pass through a large hall and lead to 30 rooms. The castle has a stained glass window from the Cooper pedigree of Victorian times. The dining room is decorated in the style of Louis Philippe.