Portlick Castle

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Portlick Castle is a medieval tower house castle near the 21st century village of Glasson, County Westmeath, Ireland, some 6 miles from Athlone on the shores of Lough Ree. It comprises a square medieval 4-storey stone tower with an attached 2-storey Georgian wing and Victorian tower.

It is the only medieval castle that has seen consistent use from the time of its occupancy in 1185 to the present day.


Portlick Castle was constructed by Sir Henry de Leon (c.1176 – 1244), of a cadet branch of Viscounty of Léon of Leon, Brittany in the late 12th century. Sir Henry was married to Maud de Courcy. 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 crest 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 lived in Portlick Castle from the time of the completion of its construction 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]

The 2012 owner is an out-of-country businessman who lives in Portlick Castle for six weeks per year during the winter. The entire castle can be rented the other forty-six weeks in the year for 1,000 euros per night. It was recently for sale, with 19 acres of land, for 2.29 million euros [2]


  1. ^ a b Alistair Rowan, Christine Casey. North Leinster: The Counties of Longford, Louth, Meath and Westmeath. 
  2. ^ "Portlick Castle, Glasson, Athlone, Co. Westmeath". Retrieved 17 December 2012. [dead link]

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