Castle falls into Ruins
Manorhamilton Castle was burned by the Earl of Clanrickard in 1652, and although it was for a time used as a garrison, it was soon abandoned and fell into an increasingly ruinous state. A large amount of dressed stone from the Castle and walls was used in the construction of other buildings.
In later years a dwelling house was built just to the rear of the ruins within the walls and this picturesque property is occupied to this day.
The Castle building fell into disrepair over the years and the walls became extremely overgrown with climbing ivy. Trees and other weeds were also choking the area. It was believed that attempts to remove the ivy would destabilize the walls and lead to the collapse of the structure.
However after they bought the estate in 1993 Tony and Maura Daly set about an ambitious restoration project. The first phase was the securing of walls which were in danger of collapse. This was followed by the restoration of the coach-house building at the rear gate. This was turned into a cafe and exhibition centre which was run successfully for several years.
In 2003 further work commenced with support from the Department of the Environment Protected Structures section and the Heritage Council, administered by Leitrim County Council. Ivy was cleared from the bawn wall and from the walls of the Castle ruins themselves. The ivy was first sprayed to kill it and then after it had withered it was removed. The structure was then pointed and secured by workmen.
The result of this work is that the Castle structure which had been hidden for generations under a blanket of ivy is now revealed. The solid workmanship and scale of the building is now clear for all to see. The restoration has been a great success and the impressive ruins connect Manorhamilton with its past and put the town on the map as a historical site of note.
The Fair Green
Outside the walls, what was the Fair Green for hundreds of years, has now been paved and converted into a public performance and exhibition space. A spacious car park has also been provided and a fully equipped childrens playground has been newly installed.
The area is also fittingly enhanced by a modern sculpture from the Leitrim Sculpture Centre as Manorhamilton now hosts a vibrant artistic community.