Thursday, 9 November 2017

Dromore Castle

THE EARLS OF LIMERICK OWNED 4,035 ACRES OF LAND IN COUNTY LIMERICK

The ancestors of this noble family were originally of Lower Brittany, in France; and the first of the family upon record in Ireland is

EDMUND PERY, a son of William Pery, Bailiff of Exeter, 1578, who settled in Limerick.

This Edmund died in 1655, leaving by Susannah his wife, only daughter and heir of Stephen Sexton, Mayor of Limerick, a son and successor,

EDMUND PERY, of Stackpole Court, County Clare, a colonel in the army, who died in 1721, leaving issue,
SEXTON, his heir;
STACKPOLE, succeeded his brother;
four daughters.
Colonel Pery was succeeded by his elder son,

SEXTON PERY, of Stackpole Court, who died in 1780, and was succeeded by his brother,

THE REV STACKPOLE PERY, who wedded, in 1716, Jane, daughter and heir of the Ven William Twigg, Archdeacon of Limerick (by Diana, daughter and heir of Sir Drury Wray Bt, by Albinia, daughter and co-heir of Edward, Viscount Wimbledon, third son of 1st Earl of Exeter), and had, with other issue,
EDMUND SEXTON, 1st Viscount Pery;
WILLIAM CECIL, succeeded his brother;
Diana; Dymphna; Lucy; Jane.
The elder son,

EDMUND SEXTON PERY (1719-1806), who having filled the office of Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland from 1771 until 1785, received upon his retirement the unanimous thanks of the House, and at the express solicitation of that branch of the legislature, was elevated to the peerage, in 1785, as VISCOUNT PERY, of Newtown Pery, Limerick.

His lordship married firstly, in 1756, Patricia, youngest daughter of John Martin; and secondly, in 1762, Elizabeth, daughter of John, 1st Baron Knapton, and had issue,
Diana, m to Thomas, Earl of Ranfurly;
Frances, m to Nicholson Calvert MP.
His lordship died in 1806, when, leaving no male issue, his honours expired and the family estates devolved upon his brother,

THE RT REV WILLIAM CECIL PERY (1721-94), consecrated Lord Bishop of Killaloe, 1781, and translated to the bishopric of Limerick, 1784.

The Bishop was created Baron Glentworth, of Mallow, County Cork, in 1790.

His lordship wedded firstly, in 1755, Jane, eldest daughter of John Walcott, of Croagh, by whom he had issue,
EDMUND HENRY, his successor;
Eleanor, m to Sir Vere Hunt Bt.
He espoused secondly, in 1792, Dorothea, daughter of Richard Maunsell, of Limerick, and widow of General Crump, but had no issue.

The Bishop was succeeded by his only son,

EDMUND HENRY, 2nd Baron (1758-1844), who was created, in 1800, Viscount Limerick. 

His lordship was advanced to the dignity of an earldom, in 1803, as EARL OF LIMERICK (2nd creation), and enrolled amongst the peers of the United Kingdom at large, as Baron Foxford.


DROMORE CASTLE, near Pallaskenry, County Limerick, was designed ca 1867-70 by E W Godwin for the 3rd Earl of Limerick.

Built as a keep in a Gothic-Revival style, the building is archaeologically convincing both in its design and its display of distinctively Irish Gothic features, such as the round tower and stepped battlements.

Godwin studied and measured several Irish Gothic castles before producing his plans for Dromore.

He also designed much of the interior including the wall paintings, fireplaces, ceiling decoration, sculpture, tiles, stained and painted glass, brass work and ironwork, as well as furniture, to whom the commission for furniture went to William Watts of Grafton Street.

Henry Stacey Marks commenced the wall paintings; however, work was abandoned due to severe damp.

To combat this, Godwin designed a brick lining with a cavity of about two inches from the stonework, in addition the internal walls and vaults, with the exception of the main entrance vault, were also of brick.

Following the death of the 3rd Earl, the 4th Earl used the castle very little and had it boarded up in the early 1900s.

Dromore Castle was sold by the 4th Earl in 1939 to the McMahon family, who occupied it until 1960.

An attempt was then made to find a buyer for it; and when this proved unsuccessful, the castle was dismantled.

However, the ruin remains a striking feature in the landscape and is visible for miles due to its prominent elevated position.

Dromore Castle remains an important part of the social and architectural heritage of County Limerick being one of the most archaeologically correct Gothic-Revival castles that was built at that time.

First published in August, 2013.   Glentworth arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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