Historic Irish Castle Accommodation
The earliest castle at Gort na Tiobrad, the Irish name for Springfield Castle, is reputed to date from 1280 when one of the Fitzgeralds, a junior member of the Desmond family, married a lady of the O Coilleains, who were the Lords of Claonghlais. He took the title Lord of Claonghlais and subsequently built a castle at Springfield. Little is know of this castle but it is supposed that some of the ruins on the north of the present courtyards may be the remnants. This was the beginning of a long association of the Fitzgeralds with the area.
In their day, the Fitzgeralds were patrons to Irish poets and musicians.As you enter the impressive gateway to Springfield Castle a plaque on the wall commemorates Daithi O’Bruadair, a classical Irish poet of the seventeenth century who lived at the castle with his patrons, the Fitzgerald family, recording their lives (and general events). He described Springfield Castle,as “a mansion abounding in poetry, prizes and people”
The Fitzgeralds soon became, as the saying goes “more Irish than the Irish themselves” and had an oft-times difficult relationship with the British monarchy. In 1691 they had their lands confiscated for the third and last time and Sir John Fitzgerald went to France with Sir Patrick Sarsfield to continue fighting the English there, never to return to Ireland.
A younger son of the 20th Lord of Kerry, William Fitzmaurice, (cousins to the Fitzgeralds) then bought Springfield castle. His son, John, built a very large 3 story early Georgian mansion attached to the existing buildings. The Fitzmaurices occupied Springfield Castle until Sir Robert Deane married Ann Fitzmaurice, the sole heiress, in 1780. He was awarded the title Baron Muskerry in 1781 and the title Lord Muskerry has stayed at Springfield Castle to this day. The castle was burnt in 1921 during the war of Independence and rebuilt by “Bob” Muskerry the 5th Baron in 1929.
The 9th Baron, Robert Fitzmaurice Deane, lives and works in South Africa at present, and is funding a restoration project which started in 2006 with the renovation of the East Tower and at present we are restoring the Tower house which will become an extraordinary venue for events and functions. Robert’s sister Betty and her husband Jonathan run Springfield Castle and look forward to meeting you.
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