1836 – Castleshane, Co. Monaghan
Originally a medieval house on the site was constructed in 1591, this Elizabethan or Jacobean style house was built in 1836 for the Lucas Scudamores. Castleshane consisted of a four storey tower with corner bartizans and a main 3 story block, but was burned in 1920 and very little remains. Later official reason for burning was ‘accidental’, possibly for insurance claims although also believed to bepart of the campaign of burning the big houses.
Described in Burke’s ‘A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland’: “In 1836 the original edifice was pulled down, when it was replaced by a new building of moderate size, consisting of a small tower four stories high, and of a manor-house adjoining. The tower was copied from a larger one at Ardgonnel, in the county of Armagh, built by the 0’Neills ; the house is in the style, called Elizabethan, but more properly (in this case) that of James the First. The whole, with its annexed offices, presents an imposing appearance from the mail-coach road, which passes through the demesne, leading from Castle Blayney to Monaghan. It is, however, to be regretted that a work, correct in its design, should not have been executed in more durable materials than rubble-stone coated with cement.”
Lewis mentions it thus “Castle Shane, of E. Lucas, Esq., an ancient mansion in a highly enriched and tastefully embellished demesne (within which is the site of the ancient village of Castle-Shane), with a handsome entrance lodge in the later English style of architecture, and forming an interesting object as seen from the new line of road winding through the valley”.
The house had 3 centre bays with 3 sided bays to each side with mullioned windows, curvilinear gables and tall tudor chimneys. All that remains is part of a three storey bay window and gable end – the rest having been demolished. There is also a much extended gatelodge and an unusual bell-cote in the walled garden.