Portlick Castle

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Portlick Castle is a late medieval tower house castle near the village of Glasson, County Westmeath, Ireland,of some 6 miles from Athlone on the shores of Lough Ree. It comprises a square late medieval 4-storey stone tower with an attached 2-storey Georgian wing and Victorian tower.


Sir Henry de Leon, accompanied Prince John (later King John) of England to Ireland, after the initial invasion by the Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow) back in 1169, and was granted large areas of land in the Westmeath area. The Dillon family blazon has a red lion in the centre surrounded by three red shields. The surname eventually evolved from De-lee-on to Di-lee-on to Dillon. The Gaelic version of this surname is "Diolun". A branch of the Dillons were granted the lands of Portlick and probably constructed the medieval motte located nearby. This would have been their primary fortification and probable residence until the castle was constructed in the late medieval period. From then on they resided at the castle until 1696 when Garrett Dillon was attainted under the Articles of Limerick. It was then granted to Thomas Keightly, a member of King William's privy council, who in turn sold it to William Palmer of Dublin.[1]

Subsequently the grant was repudiated and the property repossessed by the crown to be sold to the Reverend Robert Smyth (Smith) in 1703. A member of the Smyth family lived in Portlick Castle until 1955. The Smyths built the Georgian residential wing and in 1860 Robert Ralph Smyth then built a castellated 3-storey tower block at the front of the Georgian addition to give the building its current twin tower appearance.[1]

In 2012, the entire castle could be rented during forty-six weeks in the year for 1,000 euros per night, and was also for sale, including 19 acres of land, for 2.29 million euros. [2]

Ghost stories[edit]

According to local lore, Portlick Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Monkstown Castle (Cork), the Sharon Rectory, and the Workhouse Museum in Derry are said to be haunted by a "Blue Lady" ghost.[3]


  1. ^ a b Alistair Rowan, Christine Casey. North Leinster: The Counties of Longford, Louth, Meath and Westmeath.
  2. ^ "Portlick Castle, Glasson, Athlone, Co. Westmeath". Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Proper castle with ghosts and dungeons can be yours for €1.9m - Independent.ie". Independent.ie. Retrieved 2016-03-12.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°28′59″N 7°54′00″W / 53.483°N 7.900°W / 53.483; -7.900