1790 – Ballinlough Castle, Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath

Architect: Thomas Wogan Browne



The oldest part of the castle was built in 1614, according to the date on the O’Reilly coat of arms over the front door. Extended in approximately 1790, when a new wing was added by Sir Hugh O’Reilly, probably attributable to the amateur Thomas Wogan Browne, who was also responsible for Malahide Castle, the home of Sir Hugh O’Reilly’s sister Margaret. The ground floor contains a large drawing room and dining room with four first-floor bedrooms approached by a vaulted corridor above. The spacious interiors have what may be the tallest windows in a private house of this period, overlooking the woods and lake. The chimneypiece in the drawing room is identical to a Wyatt chimneypiece at Curraghmore, Co. Waterford.

The Nugents at Ballinlough (who are really O’Reillys, having assumed the surname of Nugent in 1812 to inherit a legacy) are almost unique in being a Catholic Celtic-Irish family who still live in their family castle.

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