DiCamillo Companion
Ireland

Portumna Castle

  • Built / Designed For: Richard Burke, 4th Earl of Clanricarde.

    House & Family History: The great semi-fortified house at Portumna was completed in 1617 by Richard Burke (De Burgo), 4th Earl of Clanricarde and lord president of Connaught, at the enormous cost of £10,000 (approximately £26 million in 2016 inflation-adjusted values using the labour value commodity index). It was the main seat of the De Burgo family for over 200 years, until the House was gutted by fire in 1826. The 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde left Portumna to his great nephew, Viscount Lascelles (later 6th Earl of Harewood), upon his death. After the late 20th century restoration, the ground floor of the House was opened to the public.

    Comments: Desmond Guinness calls Portumna "the finest Jacobean ruin in Ireland." Guinness goes on: "In its day, Portumna was unequalled in terms of scale, grandeur and beauty, and it was here that Italian Renaissance ideas were first introduced to Ireland."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The gateway to the forecourt is probably the earliest classical archway in Ireland. To the north of the House there are formal, geometrically laid out, gardens, as well as the restored 17th century walled kitchen garden, which has been planted with organic fruit trees, flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

  • Title: Great Irish Houses and Castles
    Author: O'Brien, Jacqueline; Guinness, Desmond
    Year Published: 1992
    Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
    ISBN: 0810933659
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Unknown

    Park Listed: Unknown

  • Past Seat of: Richard Burke (De Burgo), 4th Earl of Clanricarde, 17th century. Ulick John de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde, 19th century. Henry George Charles Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Office of Public Works

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 909-741-658

    Fax: 909-741-889

    Email: portumnacastle@opw.ie

    Website: http://www.heritageireland.ie

    Historic Houses Member: No