Monday, 30 May 2016

Kinnitty Castle

THE FAMILY OF BERNARD, OF CASTLE BERNARD, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN THE KING'S COUNTY, WITH 14,629 ACRES

THOMAS BERNARD, of Oldtown and Clonmulsh, County Carlow, High Sheriff, 1708, married and left issue, his third son,

JOSEPH BERNARD, of Straw Hill, County Carlow, and Castletown, King's County; born in 1694; High Sheriff, 1730. His heir,

THOMAS BERNARD, of Castletown, married and had an only son,

THOMAS BERNARD, of Castle Bernard, Birr, County Offaly, whose son,

THOMAS BERNARD (c1769-1834), of Castle Bernard, was a colonel in the King's County Militia, and for more than 32 years served as MP for that county.
Mr Bernard married firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, 1st Baron Dunalley; and secondly, Catherine Henrietta, daughter of Francis Hely Hutchinson MP, with whom he had four sons and two daughters.
His descendent,

THOMAS BERNARD, of Castle Bernard, was Lord-Lieutenant of King's County and High Sheriff, 1837; lieutenant-colonel in the Army.

He died unmarried in 1882.


KINNITTY CASTLE, or Castle Bernard, near Birr, County Offaly, is a landmark structure in the area and enjoys commanding views across the surrounding countryside.

This striking castle was built ca 1833 by the Pain Brothers, important advocates of the Gothic Revival in Ireland and architects of Mitchelstown Castle.

An immense edifice, it displays architectural motifs typical of the style including tall chimney-stacks, gabled elevations, castellated towers and parapets, battered walls and labels to windows.


Built for Thomas Bernard, the estate has played an important role in the economic development of the nearby village of Kinnitty.

The castle was burnt by the IRA in 1922, though rebuilt in 1928 by the Bernard Family who, in 1946, sold to the 6th Lord Decies, who in turn disposed the property to the Irish State in 1951.

The Ryan Family acquired the Castle and Estate in 1994 and transformed it into a hotel.

The interior survives, much altered.

The Bernard family later lived at 30 Saumarez Street, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands.

First published in April, 2012.

1 comment :

Glenn Verdult said...

Hello i am Glenn Verdult

I enjoy reading your articles

I am looking forward to read more..