Dromoland Castle, the ancient hereditary seat of the O'Briens, is being sold. Desmond Moore takes a tour and marvels at the castle's architecture.
Designed by the William Pain, Dromoland Castle in its present form was completed in 1826. William Smith O’Brien, leader of the Young Ireland rebellion of 1848, was born here.
The Castle houses paintings, furniture and unique artefacts amassed by the O'Brien family over centuries. Starting at the great entrance hall, a grand corridor leads to the main staircase with a stained glass window and vaulted ceiling. In keeping with period style, the entrance to Lord Inchiquin’s bedroom is adorned with two decorative pilasters.
Objects from the castle’s long history transport us back in time when the travel for pleasure was strictly confined to the upper classes, and ‘the family silver’ meant exactly that.
A pair of Persian silver mounted horse pistols, which sold for £40, and the silver of the establishment, laid out under the gaze of past generations that used it.
Other items already auctioned make the castle’s storerooms sound like an Aladdin’s cave - a two handled porridge urn, single barrel flintlocks, and a jester’s staff of silver, to name but a few.
Soon to become a luxury hotel, the ancient O’Brien line will still be identified with the rolling lands of County Clare, as Lord Inchiquin is building a new family home on a portion of the old estate.
This episode of ‘Broadsheet’ was broadcast on 6 December 1962. The reporter is Desmond Moore.
‘Broadsheet’ was a magazine style, nightly review of people and events introduced by John O’Donoghue and presented by the Broadsheet Unit.