*Knappogue Castle. 

KNAPPOGUE CASTLE is to be opened up as a small residence starting off with rates between €2,000 to €5,000 later this year.

Located in the parish of Quin, Knappogue Castle is to open up as a small residence in a new venture as part of East Clare Tourism’s new plans for the sites now under the ownership of Clare County Council.

General Manager of Clare Tourism East, Stephen Hanley outlined the plans for Knappogue Castle when addressing a meeting of the Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC).

It is hoped that it will become a five-star venue. There will be five bedrooms in the premises and it will be available for private hire with rates starting off at €2,000 and running to €5,000.

He said, “It will be there for private hire, it will come along with private butlers and dining, it will be a great addition to the area”.

Clare Tourism East are targeting opening the Knappogue residence later this year. He pointed to the formal gardens as another selling point. “The walled gardens have ran out of control, weren’t tended to since 2016, we need to attack the growth but that will be next year,” he admitted.

Events for the community will begin to take place from August and September at both Knappogue and Craggaunowen.

Built in 1467, Knappogue expanded in the mid nineteenth century, it was later restored and opened to guided tours. The original castle was built by Seán Mac Conmara son of Síoda Mac Conmara. The name translates as “castle of the place abounding in little hills”.

In 1927, Knappogue demesne was purchased by the Irish Land Commission and the castle became the possession of the Quinn family. The castle and lands were then purchased in 1966 by Mark Edwin Andrews, former Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy, from Houston, Texas. He and his wife Lavonne, a prominent American architect, in collaboration with what was then Shannon Free Airport Development Company and Bord Fáilte Éireann carried out an extensive restoration around 1969. This was intended to accommodate use of the castle as restaurant and private residence.

Their work returned much of the castle to its former 15th century state while encompassing and retaining later additions that chronicle the continuous occupation of the castle. The Andrews later leased part of the castle to the Irish Government as a cultural and tourist facility for a nominal rent.

Shannon Development purchased the castle in 1996 but the transfer of those sites to Clare County Council in May 2023 has resulted in the new vision.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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