Friday, 4 March 2016

Cabra Castle

THE FAMILY OF PRATT WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY CAVAN, WITH 8,095 ACRES

The branch of the family of which we are treating was settled in Leicestershire in 1641, when three brothers, Joseph, Benjamin and John Pratt, migrated thence; Joseph and Benjamin to Ireland, John to Jamaica.

Joseph and Benjamin obtained lands in County Meath from CROMWELL, which they divided between them.

The elder was ancestor of the PRATTS of Cabra; the younger, of the WINTERS of Agher.

JOSEPH PRATT, High Sheriff of County Meath in 1698, married firstly, Frances, sister and heir of Colonel Thomas Cooch, of Cabra Castle, County Cavan, and Covoaddy [sic], County Donegal; and secondly, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Audley Mervyn, and widow of Nathaniel Poole, and by her had issue,
Joseph, died young;
Benjamin (Dr), Provost, Trinity College, Dublin;
John, a lord of the Treasury;
Thomas, dsp;
MERVYN;
Margaret.
The youngest son,

MERVYN PRATT, MP for County Cavan, High Sheriff, 1722, wedded, in 1704, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Coote, of Cootehill in that county, and sister of the Earl of Bellamont.

Mr Pratt died in 1751, having had (with three daughters) a son and successor,

THE REV JOSEPH PRATT, of Cabra, who espoused Elizabeth, daughter of Knightley Chetwood, of Woodbrook, Queen's County, and had issue,
Mervyn, died 1798;
JOSEPH, of whom presently;
James Butler;
Elizabeth; Ann.
The second son,

THE REV JOSEPH PRATT, (1738-1831), of Cabra Castle, wedded, in 1772, the Hon Sarah Morres, daughter of Harvey, 1st Viscount Mountmorres, by Lady Letitia Ponsonby, his wife, daughter of Brabazon, Earl of Bessborough, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his heir;
Mervyn, d 1823;
Harvey, of Castle Morres, County Kilkenny,
who upon the decease of his father, succeeded his mother in the Kilkenny estates, which she and her sister, the Marchioness of Antrim, had jointly inherited as co-heiresses of their brother Redmond, Viscount Mountmorres;
Mary; Letitia.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOSEPH PRATT JP (1775-1863), of Cabra Castle, Colonel of Militia, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1799, who espoused firstly, in 1806, Jemima Roberta, daughter of Sir James Stratford Tynte Bt, of Tynte Park, and by her had issue,
MERVYN, his heir;
Joseph Tynte;
Fitzherbert;
Walter Caulfeild;
Fitzmaurice Caldwell Tynte;
Hannah, Sarah Emily Tynte; Elizabeth Martha.
Colonel Pratt wedded secondly, in 1826, Nicola Sophia, widow of Claudius William Cole-Hamilton, of Kingscourt, County Meath, but by her had no issue.

He was succeeded by his eldest son,

MERVYN PRATT JP DL (1807-90), of Cabra Castle, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1841, County Mayo, 1843, and County Meath, 1875, who espoused, in 1834, Madeline Eglantine, only daughter and heir of Colonel William Jackson, of Enniscoe, County Mayo, and had issue,
JOSEPH, his successor;
Louisa Catherine Hannah; Madeline Caroline Mary;
Jemima Roberta Emily Tynte.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

JOSEPH PRATT JP DL (1843-1929), of Enniscoe, County Mayo, High Sheriff of County Cavan, 1874, and County Mayo, 1876, who married, in 1870, Charlotte Eliza, only daughter of James Hamilton, of Cornacassa, County Monaghan, and had issue,
MERVYN;
Audley Charles (1874-1917);
Eglantine Madeline Georgina, died in infancy.
Mr Pratt was succeeded by his eldest son,

MAJOR MERVYN PRATT DSO JP (1873-1950), of Cabra Castle, and Enniscoe.

Major Pratt was badly wounded in the Boer War and never married.

He lived permanently at Enniscoe, County Mayo, and left Cabra Castle, County Cavan, unoccupied.

His younger brother, Colonel Audley Pratt, was killed in the 1st World war and also was unmarried.

Major Pratt died at Enniscoe and bequeathed Cabra to his nearest male relative, Mervyn Sheppard, a Malayan Civil Servant.


CABRA CASTLE, near Kingscourt, County Cavan, now a hotel, boasts a proud history dating as far back as 1760.

In 1964, the Pratts reluctantly disposed of the property, 265 years after Cabra land first came into the family possession.

A local family called Brennan bought the castle. They renovated the building and converted it into a twenty-two bedroom hotel.


It was in their ownership until 1986, when it was then sold to a group of Arabs.

They closed down the hotel, finished off pre-booked functions, and then kept the building as a private house.


It effectively lay idle until 1991, when it was purchased by its present owners, the Corscadden family, who re-opened it as a hotel.


Since then the property has been extensively refurbished and expanded from twenty-four bedrooms, to incorporate the former Courtyard area bringing the total number of bedrooms to eighty.


The fine staircase hall is surrounded by a gallery at second-floor level, carried to an extent on iron brackets.

First published in February, 2012.

1 comment :

Julian Brown said...

I absolutely love your detailed histories of Irish families and the castles and great houses of Ireland Timothy. It is so sad when theses old properties are neglected and wonderful when they are revitalised. However I elways feel we have lost something precious by allowing the old traditions to fade, old families to become dispossessed and houses and castles to be changed in useage.. Our traditional structures served us well for many centuries...is the brave new world better? I reserve judgement. Julian Brown