Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lough Cutra Castle

WILLIAM SMYTH, of Rossdale, Yorkshire, passed over into Ulster in the reign of CHARLES I, and settling at Dundrum, County Down, became ancestor of the family which we are treating, and of the Smyths of Drumcree, Gaybrook, etc.

His son,

WILLIAM SMYTH, of Dundrum, married Mary, daughter of Thomas Dewdall, and by her had two sons, viz.
THOMAS, his heir;
James.
The elder son,

THE RT REV THOMAS SMYTH (1650-1725), was, for his great piety and learning, at the recommendation of Dr Tennison, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, promoted to the see of Limerick in 1696.

The Bishop married Dorothea, daughter of the Rt Rev Ulysses Burgh, Lord Bishop of Ardagh; and dying in 1725, left issue,
William (Very Rev), Dean of Ardfert, dsp;
CHARLES, of whom presently;
John;
Michael;
Henry;
Thomas;
George;
Arthur;
Edward;
James;
Mary; Dorothea; Elizabeth.
The second and eldest surviving son,

CHARLES SMYTH, who succeeded to the estates of his father, represented the city of Limerick in parliament for 45 years.

He espoused Elizabeth, sister and heir of Sir Thomas Prendergast, last baronet of that name, and widow of John Dixon Haman.

He died in 1784, leaving issue,
Thomas, MP, dsp;
JOHN PRENDERGAST, of whom we treat;
Charles Lennox;
Juliana, mother of CHARLES, 2nd Viscount.
The second son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST-SMYTH, was elevated to the peerage, in 1810, as Baron Kiltarton, with remainder to his nephew, Charles Vereker, the son of his sister Juliana.

His lordship was advanced to a viscountcy, in 1816, as VISCOUNT GORT; and died a bachelor, in 1817, when the family honours devolved upon his nephew,

CHARLES, 2nd Viscount, PC, (1768-1842), Constable of the City of Limerick, Colonel of its Militia, and a Privy Counsellor.

His lordship married firstly, in 1789, Jane, widow of William Stamer, by whom he had issue,
JOHN PRENDERGAST, his heir;
Juliana; Georgiana.
He wedded secondly, in 1810, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John Palliser, by whom he had a son,
Charles, born in 1818.
His eldest son,

JOHN PRENDERGAST, 3rd Viscount (1790-1865), sold the family seat in County Galway, Lough Cutra Castle.



LOUGH CUTRA CASTLE, once known as Loughcooter Castle, is near Gort in County Galway.

It was designed by John Nash and is located in a romantic setting above a lough.

The Castle was built from 1811 for the 2nd Viscount Gort, who had an admiration for East Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight and stipulated that his new home should be similar in design.

Lough Cutra Castle is battlemented with machiolations.


The 3rd Viscount suffered ruinous financial losses as a result of the Irish famine, since he refused to collect any rents and donated large sums to charity.

Consequently, Lough Cutra was sold by the Encumbered Estates Court in 1851.

The Gort family subsequently moved to the Isle of Wight, where they, somewhat ironically, acquired East Cowes Castle.

Lough Cutra was purchased in 1854 by Field-Marshal the Viscount Gough, who added a wing and clock-tower two years later.

During the Victorian era, the estate comprised 6,628 acres.

Interestingly, Lord Gough commissioned wallpaper by Cole & Son for a design featuring Union Flags and coronets.

The Castle was sold by the Gough family later in the 19th century and remained empty for many years; until it was bought back post-1945 by the 7th Viscount Gort for his great-niece, Elizabeth Sidney.

Thereafter the Castle was sold again and is now privately owned.

Gort arms courtesy of European Heraldry.

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