No Hope

The sad remains of Hope Castle, County Monaghan. Built on the edge of Castleblayney, the house – like the town – owes its existence to the Blayney family who settled here at the start of the 17th century. Initially they lived in a castle built by Sir Edward Blayney, created first Baron Blayney in 1721 but at the end of the 18th century his descendant, the 11th Lord Blayney commissioned a new house designed by Dublin-born Robert Woodgate who for several years had worked in London for Sir John Soane. In 1853 the 12th Lord Blayney sold the estate to the rich Henry Thomas Hope; he enlarged and remodelled the building in what has been called ‘a frivolous kind of Italianate classicism.’ Occupied by Queen Victoria’s son the Duke of Connaught for several years at the start of the last century when he served Commander of the Forces in Ireland, Hope Castle was sold in 1928 and served as a military barracks and then a county hospital before being occupied until the mid-1970s by Franciscan nuns. It was then acquired by the local county council, which leased it to an hotelier who was permitted to strip out all of Woodgate’s interiors. In 2010 the building was badly damaged by arsonists and has remained in a sorry state ever since.

7 comments on “No Hope

  1. Bree O’Brien Walsh says:

    A crying shame Robert. One feels almost that the buck for restoration should lie with the council due to their negligent actions in letting a business tenant remove house fittings and furniture.. Sadly yet another house of note will fall. It is an embarrassment to Ireland.

  2. Not my cup of tea but no less a disgrace for this to happen especially under the watch
    of a local authority.

  3. Elizabeth Printy says:

    What a shame. These magnificent houses and their historical contributions should be at the forefront of Ireland’s efforts to preserve their national legacy. It would be worth the investment for the future of the country.

  4. Marian Caulfield says:

    No doubt its in some landowner’s interest to let this rot like many properties in this country. Its a beautiful design should be preserved but there is more money probably to be made by letting it rot or have an ‘accidental’ fire. Makes me sick

  5. Anna Sage says:

    How sad

  6. Stephen McGarry says:

    You mentioned that the Blayney family ‘settled’ in Co. Monaghan. In fact, Edward Blayney, the 1st Lord Blayney, was an adventuring English soldier who received confiscated lands from the Gaelic aristocracy, the McMahan clan, after the Elizabethan Wars in the 1600s.

  7. RhonaPeace says:

    The Hope family owned the ‘Hope Diamond’ blue..was supposed to be unlucky..

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