Welcome to Castleforbes

Castleforbes - home to Lady Georgina

Castleforbes is situated about 3 miles from Longford town and stands between Newtownforbes and the river Shannon. Built to the design of John Hargrave from Cork, Castleforbes is a 19th century structure of cut limestone. The entrance gateway of the castle is French style which is about one mile from the castle itself. There are some narrow windows in the shape of an arch as well as the remains of some English style windows.

In 1909 following the marriage of the 8th century Earl of Granard to Beatrice, daughter of Ogden Mills of Strasburg, the decoration of the castle was completed. Shortly after this the castle was in action. Lady Jane structured the original building of Castleforbes in 1624. Over the years, the Castle has been added to. In 1825 the castle was partly burned. It was saved by a dog called 'Pilot' whose barking woke everyone in the castle.

Dog on crutches!

1,286 acres of land was given to th416em in 1619. In 1854 together the castle covered 1,346 acres of land within it's demesne. It was the largest demesne in Longford. In 1876 the total estate, including parts of land from around the parish, Clonguish, Drumlish, Killashee and near Mullingar, covered 14.978 acres of land. Today Lady Georgina, the present owner, owns only the land within the demesne i.e. 1,346 acres of land.

Behind the castle is the legendary graveyard. In early times the deceased of the parish were buried there, but however the 4th Earl of Granard passed a rule saying only his family could be buried there. This law made a lot of people angry and some even buried their relatives there under the cover of darkness. Usually lord Granard found out about this and had the corpse thrown off the castles property and onto the road-side.

One notorious man of the parish felt sick at this time and when dying he asked his sons to bury him in the graveyard where his father rested before him and to put a blackthorn stick in his right hand so if anyone disturbed him people would hear about it. The man died and his directions were faithfully carried out. Lord Granard found the corpse and ordered it to be removed. The next day the people heard that the Earl of Granard was dead!!!

The wife of the 5th Earl of Granard was much different in nature in comparison to those who had gone before her as she was a charitable and compassionate lady. Another story from 1780 tells of a man was was falsely charged with stealing sheep and was ordered to be executed (which at that time was very common) in Longford Jail.The poor man pleaded innocent to this crime but was not believed and convicted. Luckily the executor did his job carelessly and the man came away with none more than a few serious spinal injuries. He lived out the rest of his days in secrecy in Casleforbes!

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Last updated - November 30th 2007