Clonalis House

Clonalis, outside the town of Castlereagh in County Roscommon, is the ancestral home of the O’Conor family, descendants of Ireland’s last High Kings and traditional Kings of Connacht. The estate has been in the continuous possession of the family for over 1500 years and many people still regard it as the last remnant of the ancient Kingdom of Connacht. The present house was built by Charles Owen O'Conor Don in 1878 to replace a now ruined early eighteenth century house that was considered too unhealthy because of its situation beside the River Suck.

The English architect, Frederick Pepys Cockerell, who was attempting to establish a practice in Ireland at that time (he also built Blessingbourne in County Tyrone for the Montgomery family) designed Clonalis in a transitional style, partly Italianate and partly in the renewedly fashionable Queen Anne taste.

The formal entrance front has a square central tower, while the garden front is symmetrical, with projecting half-octagonal end-bays, a profusion of gables, balconies and tall chimneys and liberal use of plate glass. There is a large entrance hall, with pink marble columns, and a fine suite of reception rooms. These have highly practical, tripartite chimneypieces, where the fireplaces are flanked by niches for turf and timber, all set in handsome marble frames.

The Clonalis collection is both interesting and eclectic. The O'Conor Archive includes over 100,000 manuscripts, many in Irish and some dating back to the sixteenth century along with an important series of family portraits, the harp of O’Carolan (last and most famous of the wandering Irish bards) and a library of more 7,000 books, many collected by the great eighteenth century antiquarian, Charles O'Conor of Belangare. Perhaps the most important volume is the Book of O'Conor Don, written by Irish monks at Ostend in 1632.

The house is surrounded by formal lawns and terraces, with fine views over the park.

After Catholic Emancipation the O’Conor family played a pivotal role in Ireland's history as Members of Parliament for County Roscommon. Today Clonalis is home to Charles Owen O'Conor Don’s great-great-grandson, Richard O'Conor Nash and his wife.

Address & Contact

Clonalis House, Castlerea, Roscommon

t: +353 94 9620014

e: info@clonalis.com

w: www.clonalis.com

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House Open

June 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.

July 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.

August 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.

11am to 5pm.

 

Open by appointment April to October 

 

Closed Sundays