Ironic twist puts Lisheen in safe hands
Published 07/09/2010 | 05:00
Lisheen Castle was owned for much of its history by the Lloyd family. It was originally a three-storey Irish Palladian country house, to which the owners added castle-like structures in the early 1800s.
The first reference of the Lloyd connection to Lisheen was in the will of John Lloyd in 1770, which mentions that he owned a vast tract of land, including Lisheen and several adjoining townlands.
John's son, Frederick, became landlord of Lisheen and it is believed that it was he who embarked on the building of the present castle, which, according to tradition, was built in stages around the Georgian house.
The castle is a battlemented Tudor-style structure, with side turrets, and a central machicolated turret enclosing the main doorway.
Such castle-like structures in revivalist styles were in vogue during the Victorian era.
Lisheen is described as a more modest version of the impressive castellated residences built in the first half of the 19th century, such as Charleville, near Tullamore, Co Offaly, Castle Bernard, near Kinnity, Co Offaly, Blackrock Castle, Cork, and Glenstal Abbey, Co Limerick.
The Lloyds were heavily involved in the local Public Works Committees that attempted to create employment during the Great Famine. A combination of building costs and the effects of the famine left the Lloyds' estate impoverished, and many members of the family emigrated in the mid-1800s.