Photographer's Note

Pictured here is the ruins of Blackcastle House on Flower Hill, Navan, Co Meath. The ruined building occupies a commanding site overlooking the river Boyne, and the mansion makes an interesting focal point on the ramparts walk in the town.

Constructed in 1827, the house was the home to the Fitzherbert family. The family were active in the community here, with records showing Mrs Fitzherbert ran a charitable loan society to local people in 1837. No doubt this helped support the then thriving mill industry in the immediate area. Records from then show that in 1837, there were five corn mills, two paper mills, two distilleries, a tannery, a flax mill, flour mills and Irelands largest sack factory all in the surrounding lands.

The house would have been an impressive sight in its day, a detached two story six bay mansion, it featured a small Greek doric portico. This has now partially collapsed, but part can be seen in this picture (the white structure to the left). It featured double pitched roofs with stone entablature eaves and a stone date plinth over the main entrance.

In more recent times, a farm shop was part of the estate, and many locals in Navan have memories of buying fruit and cheeses here. The estate also included a farm and stables where treasure hunts took place. These structures are still standing too, although are in a similar state of disrepair as the house itself.

The house became abandoned in the early 1980's (I cannot find the exact date), and some say that the owner simply locked the door and walked away, leaving the house behind fully furnished. In 1987 a fire destroyed the once impressive home once and for all leaving only the ruin we see here.

Unlike many of these kinds of place in Ireland, this one is open and you can walk inside. Although it is not wise, as the wooden floors are rotten through and collapsed into the basement below in many places. I had to take a peep inside though, and have posted in the workshop two shots of the inside of the house as well.

Today it is no more than an impressive ruin but it is easy to imagine how impressive this would have been when it was built almost 200 years ago.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4174 W: 26 N: 9239] (33772)
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