The original Clonyn Castle was built in 1639 by Richard Nugent, the 15th Baron of Delvin and First Earl of Westmeath. The castle was built as a replacement for Delvin Castle, the ruins of which still stand on the main street.
In 1649, Oliver Cromwell and his army stormed through the woodlands of Clonyn, only to find the castle in flames on their arrival. Nugent was determined that he would not offer Cromwell his hospitality and took the extreme step of burning down his own castle before fleeing the area to avoid any social obligation to his visitors.
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 construction of 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 failed in their attempt to convert it in to a secondary school. 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.
Please note that Clonyn Castle is a private residence and that the castle and its grounds are not open to the public.