Castle Oliver (also Clonodfoy ) is a Victorian mock castle in the southern part of County Limerick, Ireland. Built for entertaining rather than for defense, it has a ballroom, salon, library, morning room, dining room and hall that has been hand-painted ceilings, decorated ornamental brackets, superbly executed glass windows and stencil work. The castle stands on massive terraces and a view over a large part of its former 20,000-acre (81 km2 ) property. The castle has been Ireland’s largest wine cellar, is said to hold about 55,000 bottles. From May to September 2014 was the Castle Oliver opened to the public in connection with “Limerick Capital of Culture” for house tours.


The countries where the castle stands was settled around 1658 by the captain. Robert Oliver, one of Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers. The present castle replaced the former Castle Oliver, who was a thousand yards to the southwest and was the birthplace of Eliza Oliver, mother of the notorious Lola Montez, who became lovers and favorite King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

Castleoliver east facade with the ballroom and dining room in the main block, staff wing and coach house on the right


The castle was for many years known as Clonodfoy, a contraction of an earlier Irish place names: Cloch a Otbhaidhigh, which means “stone structure Otway”, Otway is an Anglo-Norman surnames.

Capt. Robert Oliver descendant Richard Oliver married a Yorkshire heiress through which he inherited wealth and property in West Yorkshire, and moved to live in Parlington Hall near Wetherby, leaving Castleoliver to deteriorate in the hands of a bailiff. Their daughters, Mary and Elizabeth Isabella Oliver Gascoigne, both married members of the Trench family Woodlawn, Galway. The younger sister, Elizabeth, married Frederic Mason Trench, 2nd Baron Ashtown 1852. The sisters were very skilled craftsmen, designing and implementing both glass painting work and verre eglomise (back-painted glass panels) as ornate ballroom fireplace. A large part of their work has survived. The elder sister, Mary Isabella, was a very skilled wood turner published (under the male pseudonym), an authoritative book on the subject, “The Art of Wood-turning”, still a respected source of information on the subject.

The sisters commissioned the present castle in 1845. It was designed by York architect George Fowler Jones in Scottish Baronial style, built of local pink sandstone, mined in the yard. Fowler Jones had designed several important assignments for the sisters in northern England, including almshouses and kyrkor.Medan Mary Isabella and her husband made their home in the Yorkshire seat Gascoigne (Parlington Hall), Elizabeth and her husband occupied the Castle Oliver. The house later inherited by Elizabeth step-grandson, the Honourable William Cosby Trench.

The final member of the Trench family to live at Castle Oliver, wife Lynn Trench, sold the property to racer Billy Coleman in 1978. After that the castle changed hands several times, eventually becoming the property of a local bank, which broke up the remaining land, farm and lodges in separate parts.The castle itself failed to find a buyer and languished in disrepair, falling prey to vandals and thieves. It appeared in the book “Limit the Houses of Ireland”, published by the Irish Georgian Society.

In 1988 was bought by the late Damian Haughton, which according to the subsequent owner, put an end to most of the worst leaks in the roof. In 1998 was bought by Nicholas Browne, who continued the restoration and converted back to a livable dwelling. In 2006 passed to Declan and Emma Cormack, who finished high quality restoration and made the castle his home. In 2015 Cormacks sold it to an unnamed family from Melbourne, Australia to use as a home for “several months”. [1]


  1. Jump up ^ Sheridan, Anne. “€ 3m Limerick castle was sold to Australian investors.” Limerick Leader. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  • Castle Oliver and Oliver Gascoigne Nicholas Browne;
  • Burke guide till Irish Country Houses av Mark Bence-Jones ;
  • Ardpatrick by John Fleming