Tullynally Castle

Open only to pre-booked groups (minimum 6) Park or garden open Cultural activities or events Available as a film location

Tullynally Castle, Castlepollard, Westmeath, Ireland


e: valeriepakenham@eircom.net

The House

Tullynally has been the home of the Pakenhams, later Earls of Longford, since the mid 17th century.

Originally a plain semi-fortified Plantation house, it was altered to a comfortable Georgian mansion during the 18th century, then transformed into a Gothic Revival castle by Francis Johnston on the instructions of the 2nd Earl of Longford in 1803.

The 3rd Earl enlarged the house yet again in the early 1840s with two enormous wings and a central tower, designed by another fashionable Irish architect, Sir Richard Morrison.

The principal rooms are gothic in style and largely date from the early nineteenth century remodeling.  There is a spectacularly vast vaulted hall, with clerestory windows, plain oak paneling and family crests in elaborate gothic niches. The dining room is an elongated octagon, lit by the windows in a three-sided bow at the outer end, and there is a fine library. Most of the interiors retain the furniture and pictures bought by the 2nd Earl at the beginning of the 19th century while the model Victorian kitchens and laundries are still preserved intact.

The gardens, illustrated by a younger son in the early 18th century, originally consisted of a series of cascades and formal avenues to the south of the house. These were later romanticised in the Loudonesque style with lakes, grottoes and winding paths by the 2nd Earl and his wife.

The gardens have been extensively restored and adapted by the present owners, Thomas and Valerie Pakenham, with flower borders in the old walled gardens and new plantings of magnolias, rhodendron and giant lilies in the woodland gardens, many collected as seed by Thomas in China and Tibet. He has also added a Chinese garden complete with pagoda while the surrounding park contains a fine collection of specimen trees.

Over the centuries the Pakenham family has produced a series of distinguished soldiers, sailors and diplomats (including two Peninsular War generals and their sister Kitty, wife of the great Duke of Wellington). In more recent years members of the family have been renowned as politicians, writers, biographers and historians, as gardners, dendrologists and plantsmen, and as patrons of theatre, music and the arts.

Information

Open only to pre-booked groups (minimum 6)

Park or garden open

Cultural activities or events

Available as a film location

Opening Hours

Gardens open from May to August

Thursday to Sunday, plus Bank Holidays

1 pm to 6 pm

Cafe in courtyard serves luches and teas