DiCamillo Companion
Ireland

Curraghchase (Curragh Chase) (Curragh House) (Curragh Castle)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house, Curragh Castle, on, or near, the site of the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Vere Hunt

    House & Family History: Curragh ("marshy plain" in Irish) was the home of the Hunt-de Vere family for 300 years. In the early 19th century Curraghchase was the seat of the poet Sir Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Bt. (1788 -1846), author of "Julian the Apostate" and "The Duke of Mercia." Sir Aubrey's third son, Aubrey Thomas de Vere (1814-1902), was born in the house and died here, in the same room he had occupied since he was a child. Aubrey Thomas was a noted Victorian author and friend of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who spent much time at Curraghchase and wrote "Clara, Lady Vere de Vere" here. On the eastern side of the house is an artificial lake that has become quite famous. During one of his stays in the mid-19th century Tennyson claimed that he saw the arm of the Lady of the Lake thrust above the waters of the lake. In 1941, almost 100 years later, during a Christmas party at Curraghchase in the midst a great storm, those inside the house heard a scream and, looking out onto the lake, saw, floating above the waters, a glowing woman with an outstretched arm pointing toward the house. Moments later a tree limb crashed through one of the windows knocking over a candelabrum and starting the fire that destroyed the house (only the walls remain today). The locals say that every Christmas Eve the figure of a burning woman is seen floating on the waters of the lake.

    Comments: James Lees-Milne described Curraghchase as "one of the most remote and romantic settings conceivable."

  • Architect: Amon Henry Wilds

    Date: 1829
    Designed: Additions and alterations for Sir Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Bt.

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  • Title: Guide to Irish Country Houses, A
    Author: Bence-Jones, Mark
    Year Published: 1988
    Reference: pg. 97
    Publisher: London: Constable and Company
    ISBN: 0094699909
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Unknown

    Park Listed: Unknown

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: John Fitzgerald, 16th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Vere Hunt, 17th century; Sir Aubrey de Vere, 2nd Bt., 19th century; Hunt-de Vere family here from 1657 until 1957. R.S.V. O'Brien (as tenant), late 19th-early 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Government

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Public Park

    Ownership Details: Since 1957 Curraghchase Forest Park, a state forest and park.

  • House Open to Public: Grounds Only

    Phone: 35361-337-322

    Email: info@coillteoutdoors.ie

    Historic Houses Member: No