Clonyn Castle was built in 1639 by Richard Nugent, the 15th Baron of Delvin and First Earl of Westmeath, as a replacement for the original Delvin Castle which, although in ruins, still stands on the main street.
In 1649, Oliver Cromwell and his army stormed through the woodlands of Clonyn on a mission to see whether Nugent was serious in his threat to burn down his own castle rather than offer Cromwell his hospitality. The castle was in indeed in flames on Cromwell’s arrival.
The castle at Clonyn was restored by Richard Nugent’s grandson around 1680 and was occupied until about 1860 when Lord and Lady Greville Nugent completed the magnificent castle that still stands today. Part of the ruins of the original Clonyn Castle still stand in its grounds.
The “new” Clonyn Castle remained a Nugent residence until Patrick Nugent sold it in 1922 before leaving for Scotland. Since then the Castle has been owned by a community of Australian nuns who attempted to convert it in to a secondary school, but were unsuccessful. The Castle was then purchased by a wealthy Mancunian. Jacob Levy. He transformed the castle in to a school and refuge for displaced Jewish children – victims of World War 2. When they left in 1948, the castle remained empty for a time until it was purchased by a German entrepreneur who carried out extensive renovations. Clonyn Castle was later acquired by the Dillon family, and has been a private residence for over twenty-five years.
Part of the castle grounds are now used by the popular Delvin Castle Golf Club, which opened in 1993.
Delvin & Clonyn Castles – An Overview
Paul Hughes of the Delvin Historical Society gave a pictorial overview of the history of the Delvin and Clonyn Castles during a special presentation in March 2011.
Apologies for the quality of the film but you should still get the general idea.