Home of Sir. Gilbert de Nugent
Castle Side View
Nugent Coat of Arms
Delvin, County Westmeath, Ireland
This castle is said to have been built in 1181 by Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, for his brother-in-law, Sir Gilbert de Nugent who resided in it for some time before building the neighboring "Castle of Clonyn". The second castle was burnt at Cromwell's approach during the parliamentary war.
Sir Gilbert De Nogent, came to Ireland in 1171 with Hugh de Lacy, who became Norman Lord of Meath. Gilbert settled on land at Delvin, in the modern county of Westmeath and was gramted the title Baron of Delvin. Gilbert died in 1202 and was succeeded by his brother Richard, known as Di Capella, meaning "of the horses". It is almost certain that he was "Ricardus filius Gilberti", one of the signatories to the granting of the lands of Meath.
The families involvement with Cavan began in the 1500s, when the power of the Clan Mahon O'Reillys began to decline. Clan Mahon at this time extended deep into the modern counties of Meath and Westmeath. When the Tudors came to power in England they used the Anglo Norman lords of Leinster to limit the power of the Gaelic clans. The Nugent, along with the Plunketts, another Anglo Norman family began to push Clan Mahon back to the modern borders of county Cavan in the early 1500s. Even in the second half of the sixteenth century many of the Irish chieftains did not seem to realise that there was a conquest in progress at all.
In 1532 Richard Nugent, 12th Baron of Delvin (the Black Baron) built Ross Castle on the southern shore of Lough Sheelin on the site of an earlier O’Reilly castle. The 13th Baron also Richard was killed in a skirmish near Finea in 1559. Before his death he had been granted a lease on confiscated church land in Cavan. By the time of the Plantation of Ulster the Nugents had extensive lands in south Cavan including most of the modern parishes of Ballymachugh and Mullahoran.
The family remained Catholic in the decades after the plantation of Ulster and they went on acquiring land in Cavan, including one large grant to Christopher the 14th Baron for holding Finea for the Crown, during the nine year war (1594-1603). Like the rest of the catholic Anglo Norman families they backed the Catholic side in the 1641-53 war, and as a result they lost most of their lands in Cavan.
One branch of the family continued to live and own land in Cavan, at Farrenconnell, in Mountnugent parish, not far from Ross Castle. It was this branch that gave its name to the parish and village of Mountnugent. The most famous of them was Major General Sir Oliver Nugent who commanded the famous 36th Ulster division in the first world war. The last Nugent to live at Farrenconnell died in the 1980s.
The pictures of this 900 year old castle were made March 1999 during a visit made to Ireland by Angie Nugent Farrar. Her pictures are appreciated. My last visit to the castle was on June 27, 1987 during a vacation trip to Ireland. Some of the early Nugent's are buried at Fore, Westmeath, Ireland in a cemetery next to the St. Feichin church.
Book a room at Ross Castle which was begun by Richard Nugent, 12th Baron of Delvin (the Black Baron), in the year 1533. The tower was completed by him in 1537. The great hall and further extensions were finished by his grandson and successor, Richard, the 13th Baron, by 1539. Castle of Ross commands magnificent views of Lough Sheelin, a 4500 acre lake famous for it's brown trout and liberally stocked perch and large pike.
Ballinlough Castle is the home of Sir John Nugent and Lady Nugent. This castle has a golf club and is located at Clonmellon, County Meath, Ireland. The castle is open to the public from May 1 through September 1.
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