Hope Castle

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Eighteenth-century house in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.

Hope Castle, also referred to as Blayney Castle, is an 18th-century house built in the town of Castleblayney, located in County Monaghan, Ireland. Over the years, Hope Castle has been inhabited for various uses, such as homes to many, military barracks, a hospital, convent, and was most recently used as a hotel before its demise in 2010.[1] The building still stands, although unoccupied.

History[edit]

The land on which Hope Castle was built was originally under the ownership of Sir Edward Blayney, to whom it was granted in 1607. Blayney was a Welsh soldier who was granted land at Ballynalurgan and Muckno, where he built a stone defensive castle, Blayney Castle. The town of Castleblayney has grown up round that original site. Blayney was created the first Baron Blaney in 1621 and the Blayneys would continue to occupy the estate until after the 1830s. In the time of the second baron in 1641 the castle was captured by rebels fighting under Hugh Mac Patrick Dubh MacMahon. The baron escaped but his wife and children were captured.

The 7th Baron Blayney sold off part of the land in 1723. It was not until the 1780s that the present building, named Blayney Castle, was constructed near the old Elizabethan castle for the famous Andrew Blayney, 11th Baron Blayney, who owned the land from 1784 to 1834.

In 1853, the 12th and last Lord Blayney sold the entire estate to the wealthy Henry Thomas Hope, who substantially renovated the building. It was only under the ownership of the Hope family, the Scottish-Dutch banking family that is famous for their ownership of the Hope Diamond, that the Castle got its new name of Hope Castle, one which it still holds today. Henrietta Adela Hope, daughter of Henry Thomas Hope, who married an English Duke, later inherited the estate. Her husband was Henry Pelham Alexander Pelham-Clinton, who was Lord Lincoln at the time of their marriage (1861) and later succeeded his father as the 6th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne. From 1900 to 1904, Hope Castle served as a home for the Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria's son, and his family. The duke was the commander of the British Forces in Ireland at that time.[2] The Hope family left the estate in 1916, leaving it to serve as a military barracks during the War of Independence between the years 1919 and 1921. It later became the site of Monaghan County Hospital for the short time between 1932 and 1937. Beginning in 1942, Hope Castle served as a Franciscan Order Convent until the early 1970s. After its many years serving as a local convent, Hope Castle fell into private ownership until the Monaghan County Council later acquired it in the 1980s. The County Council leased the building to several people,[3] including the most recent local businessman, Chris Haren who was leasing the property when it was extensively damaged in an arson attack in November 2010. Up until the fire, Hope Castle was being run as a successful hotel, containing bar lounges, a restaurant, and several guest rooms.[4]

Timeline[edit]

Year 1607 1784 1853 1900 1919–1921 1932–1937 1942-1970s 1980 – Current
Owner Sir Edward Blayney Andrew Thomas Blayney Henry Thomas Hope Duke of Connaught Military Barracks Monaghan Co. Hospital Franciscan Order Convent County Council

Demise[edit]

In November 2010, the eighteenth century home was subject to an arson attack that left the hotel building with extensive interior damages. In a very short amount of time the fire spread through the bar and lounge areas, up the stairwells, and into the upstairs rooms. The building was uninhabited at the time of the fire; however, the contents of the hotel including a considerable amount of the fittings, furniture, and valuable antiques were left completely destroyed. At the time of the incident, it was clear to local Gardai that entry was gained by trespassers to the ground floor of the building where the fire was started. It is believed that a local group of teenagers forced entry to the building and intentionally started the fire. Although Gardai questioned juveniles in the town, no persons were ever found guilty of the crime.[5]

Architecture[edit]

Lord Andrew Blayney, 11th Baron Blayney, whom the town, Castleblayney, is named after, originally built Hope Castle in the 1780s.[6] It was later redesigned and styled using Georgian architecture by Irish architect Robert Woodgate in the year 1799.[7] It is a three-story, five bay house located near the site of an earlier plantation, which was restored during the Victorian Era. Some of the embellishments include cresting on the roof parapets and on the entrance to the building, which has a central curved bow. A glass projection porch and canopy of ornamental iron cast were also added to the structure. The gate lodges, stables, and bath houses are still present, which provide a strong sense of history to the land. When it was taken over by the local County Council, the building was renovated and the 19th century additions to the gardens and main front were demolished. Hope Castle is surrounded by grounds of green land next to a forest area accompanied by a large lake, known as the Black Island. The building, although not currently in use, consists of several bedrooms, a bar lounge and restaurant area.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haren, Christopher. "Hope Castle-A Diamond in The Countryside". Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Hope Castle - A Diamond in the Countryside". Hope Castle. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Castleblayney". Aura Internet Services. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  4. ^ McArdle, Patsy (13 November 2010), Fire Caused Extensive Damage to Hope Castle, The Northern Standard, retrieved 1 April 2013 
  5. ^ McArdle, Patsy (13 November 2010), Fire Caused Extensive Damage to Hope Castle, The Northern Standard, retrieved 1 April 2013 
  6. ^ "Castleblayney". Aura Internet Services. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "1799-Hope Castle, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan". Archiseek. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Haren, Christopher. "Hope Castle-A Diamond in The Countryside". Retrieved 1 April 2013. 


Coordinates: 54°07′08″N 6°43′48″W / 54.119°N 6.730°W / 54.119; -6.730