Built / Designed For: Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond.
House & Family History: Thomas, 10th Earl of Ormonde, who was known as "Black Tom," added, circa 1568, an unfortified manor house to the existing castle. This type of manor house (common in England) is very rare in Ireland (it is the country's only major unfortified Elizabethan dwelling). The Castle is famous for its plasterwork in the Long Gallery, some of the finest decorative plasterwork in Ireland, with stucco portraits of the 10th Earl and Queen Elizabeth I (the 10th Earl was a cousin of the queen and contemporary rumors speculated that the queen bore the child of the 10th Earl).
Collections: Walter Butler (1770-1820), 18th Earl of Ormonde (raised in 1825 to 1st Marquess of Ormonde in peerage of Ireland), amassed a huge collection of silverplate. This notable collection remained in the Butler family until the death of the 6th Marquess in 1971, when it was accepted by the HM Treasury in lieu of taxes. After acceptance by the Treasury, the collection was allocated to museums throughout the UK. A silver gilt ewer and basin (1758-68) was allocated to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, where it remains in the collection today.
Comments: Ormond is considered the best example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland.
Title: Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, 1990
Author: Kidd, Charles; Williamson, David (Editors)
Year Published: 1990
Reference: pgs. P 948-949
Publisher: London: Debrett's Peerage Limited (New York: St. Martin's Press, Inc.)
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Great Irish Houses and Castles
Author: O'Brien, Jacqueline; Guinness, Desmond
Year Published: 1992
Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Unknown
Park Listed: Unknown
Past Seat of: Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond, 16th-17th centuries; John Butler, 2nd Marquess of Ormonde and 20th Earl of Ormonde, 19th century.
Current Ownership Type: Office of Public Works
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction