Lough Cutra Castle was constructed on the order of Colonel Charles Vereker, 2nd Viscount Gort. Vereker’s initial preference was to create his home in the style of an Italian mansion, but during a visit to the Isle of White, he was so impressed by Cowes Castle, home to one of the finest architects of the time, John Nash, that an agreement was made for Nash to build him a castle in a similar style. Work commenced in 1811 and the project took six years to complete.
After the death of Charles in 1842, his son John became the 3rd Viscount Gort and inherited the magnificent castle. Unfortunately, he also inherited some historic debt, and with the added pressure brought on by the Great Famine (1845–1849), he was forced to sell the property. The land was split into lots and the great house was sold to the Loreto Sisters who used it as a convent school. The sisters only remained at the property for two years, after which they sold it to Lord Gough, and during their tenure, the Gough family made various changes to the castle structure.
Clearly, upkeep of the castle became too much for the Gough family and in 1928, they moved out of the castle and into a renovated building in the yard. Apart from a brief period when it was used to accommodate soldiers, the castle was left abandoned, and by 1852, it was considered derelict.
The 7th Viscount Gort purchased the once fine castle for his great-niece Elizabeth Sidney, and in 1967 work began to restore the castle to its original state. Changes that were made by the Gough family were undone and original features rebuilt or restored. Following Elizabeth Sidney’s divorce, the property was sold to the current owners, the Gwyn Jones family.
Today, Lough Cutra Castle and the surrounding grounds are available for exclusive hire. The castle can accommodate up to 27 guests between the main house and the courtyard, making it ideal for weddings, family gatherings, and corporate events.
Lough Cutra Castle is haunted by the flirtatious ghost of a former servant called Murray. Murray was crossing the frozen lake one he when he fell through the ice and became trapped beneath the surface. Although he was rescued and brought back to the castle, he died a short while later. The room in which he died was sealed due to the unusual activity that was experienced in there following his death, but when the room was brought back into use many years later as a bathroom, Murray’s ghost was set free and he was spotted by several witnesses in different parts of the castle. It is said that Murray likes the ladies. One female visitor claimed that he pinched her on the bottom. He has been known as “Cheeky Murray” ever since.
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