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Photographer's Note

Pictured here is Killeen Castle in the small town of Dunsany, County Meath.

Although much of the castle as it is today is a 19th century reconstruction, this site has been occupied by a castle as far back as 1180. It is believed the original castle may have been a wooden Norman fortification built by the De Lacy family, who also know fame in the area for constructing the nearby and gigantic Trim castle.

The first stone castle was built by Geoffrey De Cusack in 1181, and this date is carved into the doorway.

Through the years, the castle has seen many occupants. From the Cusack family, through the Plunkett family and the Barons of Killeen.

In the late 17th century, the castle fell into major disrepair. It remained this way until 1779 when parts of the castles demesne were laid out and some newer features added to the castle.

From 1803 to 1813, major reworking of the castle was carried out by Francis Johnston, and this involved demolition of much of the original castle, and the materials used to build the castle we see today. The castle was redesigned to be a mini Windsor castle, and was said to have had 365 windows.

After being burnt out in 1981 and lying in ruin, it was announced in 2006 that the castle would become a luxury 179 room luxury hotel and spa, and would include a championship gold course in its grounds. Due to the downturn in global tourism, in 2009 the main investor pulled out, and the hotel never seen its renovations. Despite the well kept appearance of the exterior of the building, the inside requires complete fitting out.

The golf course was built, and designed by Jack Nicklaus and the golfer on the right of the shot is the statue of him placed here on the first tee to celebrate his design.

Within the castles grounds are nine lakes, some beautiful forest walks, a ruined medieval church, a holy well and of course the castle itself. While the owners welcome visitors here in Killeen, the nearby twin castle of Dunsany is off limits to visitors as it is a private residence.

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2528 W: 12 N: 6011] (20958)
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