My Castles of Ireland 2016 Tour is part of a larger UK & Ireland run Challenge as can be found on Adventure Bike Rider.
I will add the add the castles to this blog along with a little bit of their history to wet your appetite as to just another thing that Ireland and Northern Ireland has to capture your imagination and set your sights on. You can take in all of the castles on this island in on one trip of 676 miles, that according to Google will take you 14 hours 50 minutes. Of course that means no stops, food, leg stretches, or photo ops.
So if you go at it in one go – fair play! In fact that sounds like a challenge…
This leg of the journey took me to County Westmeath in the Republic of Ireland and to Tullynally Castle…
Tullynally Castle :
Tullynally Castle is a country house (also known as Pakenham Hall Castle) situated some 2 km from Castlepollard on the Coole village road in County Westmeath, Ireland. The gothic style building has over 120 rooms and has been home to the Pakenham family (now the Earls of Longford) for over 350 years, except for 32 years in the early 19th century when it belonged to the Ryder family.
The house is surrounded by twelve acres of park land and gardens, including woodland gardens and walled gardens laid out in the early 19th century with a limestone grotto and ornamental lakes. In the 21st century a Chinese garden with a pagoda and a Tibetan garden of waterfalls and streams have been added.
The site entrance from the public road is situated 1.5 km outside Castlepollard on the Granard road 20 km from Mullingar, 80 km from Dublin via the N4 or N3 roads. The grounds are open to the public. (The Courtyard only opens at specific times so if you wish to enter the Courtyard area you should check opening before you visit.)
In 1665 Henry Pakenham, a captain in the Parliamentary Dragoons, was granted land in lieu of pay arrears that included Tullynally. His grandson Thomas was made first Baron Longford in 1756. Thomas’s grandson, another Thomas and 3rd Baron Longford, also inherited the superior title of 2nd Earl of Longford in 1794 from his grandmother, the Countess of Longford.
The 2nd Earl remodelled the 17th-century house in the gothic revival style in the early 1800s, adding towers and a moat. It was by then larger than any other castellated house in Ireland. Since then, the house has passed down through successive generations of Pakenhams to the present earl, Thomas Pakenham, 8th Earl of Longford, and is the largest house in private hands in Ireland.
Official WebSite : http://www.tullynallycastle.ie