18thc – Castle Cor, Kanturk, Co. Cork

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The castle belonged in the 17th century to the Chinnery family, and during the late 1690s was sold to William Freeman, who replaced the castle with a fashionable modern house with a hipped roof with dormer windows. The house was first described in 1750, when it was called ‘a handsome house, fronted with hewn stone, and flanked at each angle with turrets, and near it is a pleasant park’.

In 1788 the house was further extended with a three-storey semicircular bow to the centre of the west-facing garden front, and later a taller two-storey wing to the south side of the house, containing new reception rooms, and creating a new, if severely plain, south front. The above illustration of 1820 by Neale shows a planned wing on the north that was never constructed.

The estate was sold in the early 1960s an the house demolished.

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From: J.P. Neale, Views of the seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, Second Series, vol.III, London, 1820
“This House is situated about seven miles to the North of the town of Mallow, in the centre of a wooded and extensive demesne. Without possessing much claim to architectural beauty, it produces an imposing effect from the air of antiquity which pervades it , and which corresponds with the venerable character of the demesne itself. It was built towards the middle of the seventeenth century, on the ruins of the ancient castle, from which the place originally derived its name, by John Freeman, Esq.; and consisted, until some considerable additions were made by the present proprietor, of a large square centre, flanked at each angle by four turrets . The Western Front commands a view of extensive lawns, and Pleasure Grounds, interspersed with trees of great size and beauty, and bounded by woods and plantations to which the eye sees no termination . The gaiety of this view contrasts itself with the more sombre and venerable majesty of the ancient park, which extends itself before the Eastern Front. Here no traces of art recal the senses from ideas of retirement and seclusion. The venerable oaks, the spontaneous production of nature, form fantastic groups , or stand in solitary magnificence as the accident of their original growth had placed them .

While the hawthorn , the hazel, and the luxuriant fern , speak as strongly the uninterrupted reign of nature in this beautiful woodland scene. The ash, the lime- tree , and the pine, occasionally mingle their various hues amidst the general foliage ; and the distant glades run through woods, grazed by herds of deer, finish the picture of a noble Park. In a remote part of it there are the remains of a monastery of White Friars. Trees of immense size grow upon the ruins, and entwine their knotted roots amongst the now neglected monuments of monastic pride. The gloomy stilness of this spot, the solemn shade, and religious associations, calcu lated to awaken serious reflections in the mind, have given rise to the wildest superstitions amongst the lower class , connected with the ancient history of their conquest and oppositions.

This noble estate has been for more than two centuries in the Freeman family, who were originally derived from the Freemans of Oxfordshire, an ancient and still flourishing family in that county. They settled in this county towards the latter end of Elizabeth’s reign, and soon attained eminence. Richard Freeman was Lord Chancellor in the reign of Wil liam the Third , and of Anne ; and left his fortune to his brother, John , who resided at Castle Cor. Richard , the son of John , married Miss Carew, of Castle Boro, in the county of Wexford, and had issue , William , who married Jane, daughter of the third Sir Matthew Deane, Bart. , and Aunt to the late Lord Muskery. By her he had issue , a son Matthew , who died without issue , and a daughter Jane, who married Joseph Deane, Esq ., of Terranine, in the county of Dublin, and Dungar in the county of Kilkenny ; many years representative in Parliament for both counties ; and she had issue, Edward Deane, the present proprietor , who inherited the estate, and assumed the name of Freeman.

The Deane Family is amongst the most ancient in this Kingdom. They are lineally descended from Admiral Deane, who was killed fighting hand and hand with Van Tromp. They inherited vast estates in Dub lin , Kilkenny, Wexford , Cork, and Waterford ; and, besides being generally representatives for the counties of Kilkenny and Dublin, had the family borough of Innisteage for two hundred years in their possession. They are allied by marriage to the noble families of Shannon , Mayo, Donneraile , Lisle , to the Knight of Kerry , and the late Earl of Kerry, and various other illustrious houses.”

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