The remains of Crevenish Castle are south-east of the village of Kesh on the Crevenish Road, or ‘the back road’ as the locals call it – a beautiful drive in itself.
The Castle (originally called Castle Hassett) was built by Thomas Blennerhassett a native of Norwich, England. Blennerhassett secured his land here – confiscated Maguire property – in 1610 as part of the Ulster Plantation. A church, built around the same time has long since disappeared.
Thomas Blennerhassett died on 11 March 1624 and he, and his wife, are buried in the castle grounds – his tombstone (hard to read) can still be seen at the castle.
Like the other Plantation castles (eg Portora , Tully and Monea) Crevenish Castle also featured in the 1641 Irish Rebellion which was aimed at ridding Ireland of the plantation settlers. Most Plantation castles were attacked and severely damaged. The Maguires had a different approach to Crevenish – by 1641 they actually owned the castle! Rory Maguire had married a Dehorah Mervyn in 1640. Deborah Mervyn (also buried at the castle) had been previously married to Sir Leonard Blennerhassett, son of Thomas Blennerhassett.
While the Castle survived 1641 intact it did not last long there-after. Rory Maguire was killed, aged 28, in a skirmish at Carruckdrumbush, County Leitrim in 1648. Trimble’s “History of Enniskillen” book refers to a letter dated 22 May 1697 which states that “the house is ruinous and the orchards spoiled”. How it got to this state is not stated.
The Castle and gardens surrounding it are now immaculately kept and actually now form part of Crevenish Castle Holiday Park (and as such is in private hands and subject to opening hours of the Park) which looks like a delightful place to stay on the banks of the Erne. I didn’t stay here or inspect its lodgings so can’t comment except to say that each lodging comes with its own private jetty – useful if you arrive by boat!
I actually visited out of season but the park owners (who were tending to the lawns) were more than happy to admit me to the castle. The website below relates to the Holiday Park.
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening times: Ring ahead (details on website below) to take your chances.
Address: 57 Crevenish Road, Kesh
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on many trips to Enniskillen. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Tully Castle – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – “Fare thee well Enniskillen, ………..”