First Impressions



Kinnitty Castle, County Offaly was originally known as Castle Bernard, its name reflecting that of the man responsible for commissioning much of what is seen today, Thomas Bernard, although an earlier house is incorporated to the rear of the building. All cased in crisp limestone, it was designed in the early 1830s by architect siblings James and George Pain, and reflects the period’s fondness for the Tudor-Revival style, although an octagonal tower on the south-west corner harks back to an earlier era. Kinnitty Castle was burnt out in 1922 and subsequently rebuilt, before becoming an agricultural college in the 1950s. A quarter of a century ago it was converted into an hotel, and remains so to the present. Inside the main gates is a pretty Tudoresque lodge (with the most charming ogee-headed doorcase) which is thought to be older than the main house, perhaps dating to the opening years of the 19th century and designed by Samuel Beazley. Alas, despite providing a first impression for guests to the hotel, it stands empty and has been allowed to fall into the present sad condition.


4 comments on “First Impressions

  1. Bob F says:

    Sad to see the condition of the gate lodge, a little gem. First impressions do count, but then anyone who would scatter rustic picnic tables about in a formal setting is capable of that ignorance and worse

  2. Deborah T. Sena says:

    I often use your posts as fodder for doing searches of local real estate for sale, other historic properties, etc. Lately a trend I have noticed, confirmed by visiting this hotel’s website, many of these historic buildings now used as hotels have little, if any, information available on the history of the building. What is the point of staying in it if you can’t connect to it’s past? Doesn’t bode well for the future if these sites are no longer ‘in’ for events, and as noted by the above post, taking care of them.

  3. Stephen Barker says:

    The lodge looks like a gingerbread house.

  4. claudius1889 says:

    Hello. Very nice to see a building in good condition (Bernard Castle) as the late posts have been about ruins, something sad and depressing. What strikes me as odd, and shameful, is the fact that the pretty cottage is in such a bad condition. Why is it so? It obviously belongs to the property, why has not been refurbished and used as extra accomodation? I know that most likely you will not have an answer but stii I can’t help asking questions.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful posts and the impressive research you do,

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