Castle In Galway - Lough Cutra Galway

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Welcome to Lough Cutra Castle

Welcome to Lough Cutra Castle, we are located on the shores of Lough Cutra, our very own private lake. Just a short distance from Galway City and conveniently located to Shannon International Airport. We can host any event you want us to. We are available for instance for private parties, gala dinners,weddings, film locations, music festivals and the like. Whatever the event every hiring of the Castle is always on an exclusive basis - when we say exclusive we mean it.


A History of Lough Cutra Castle, Gort, Co. Galway, Ireland

Lough Cutra Castle and Estate has a long and varied history. The countryside surrounding Lough Cutra contains much evidence of a history dating back to the Tuatha Da Danaans. Evidence of old churches, cells and monasteries are prolific in the area and a number of the islands on the lake contain the remnants of stone alters. The history of the estate can be traced back as far as 866 A.D.

The country around Lough Cutra contains evidence of the tribal struggle between the Firbolgs and the Tuatha De Dannan (the Firbolgs and the Tuatha De Dannan were tribes said to have existed in Ireland). These are from around the times of the Danish invasion. The local area is rich in remnants of churches, cells and monasteries due to the introduction of Christianity. A number of the islands on the lake contain the remnants of stone alters. It is quite likely that St. Patrick passed Lough Cutra on his travels and St. Coleman MacDuagh was a relative of Gort’s King Guaire. A holy well with a cross with the date 1745 lies on the Eastern shore of Lough Cutra.

The ruined church of Beagh on the North West shore was sacked by the Danes in 866 A.D. and war raged through the district for nearly 1000 years. In 1601 John O’Shaughnessy and Redmond Burke camped on the shores of the lake while they plundered the district.

In 1678, Sir Roger O’Shaughnessy inherited from Sir Dermot all the O’Shaughnessy’s Irish land - nearly 13,000 acres, and this included Gort and 2,000 acres around Lough Cutra and the lake itself. Following the revolution during which Sir Roger died of ill health, the Gort lands were seized and presented to Thomas Prendergast. This was one of the oldest families in Ireland. Sir Thomas came to Ireland on King Williams’s death in 1701 and lived in Monaghan. The title to the lands was confused, but was in the process of being resolved when Sir Thomas was killed during the Spanish Wars in 1709. His widow, Lady Penelope let the lands around the lake and the Islands. On these Islands large numbers of apple, pear and cherry trees were planted, and some still survive today. The O’Shaughnessy’s still tried to lay claim to the lands that had been taken from them by King William. In 1742 the government confirmed the Prendergast title, but it was not until 1753 that Roebuck O’Shaughnessy accepted a sum of money in return for giving up the claim. 

Following Sir Thomas’s death John Prendergast Smyth inherited the Gort Estate. It was John who created the roads and planted trees, particularly around the Punchbowl where the Gort River disappears on its way to Gort and Coole. John lived next to the river bridge in Gort when in the area - this area is now known as the Convent, Bank of Ireland and Glynn’s Hotel. When John died in 1797 he was succeeded by his nephew, Colonel Charles Vereker who in 1816 became Viscount Gort. The estate at this time was around 12,000 acres.

When the estate was inherited by Colonel Vereker in 1797 he decided to employ the world renowned architect John Nash to design the Gothic Style building known as Lough Cutra Castle. Colonel Vereker had visited Nash’s East Cowes Castle on the Isle of Wight and was to taken with it that he commissioned the construction of a similar building on his lands on the shore of Lough Cutra. Nash also designed Mitchelstown Castle, Regents Park Crescent, his own East Cowes Castle, as well as being involved in the construction of Buckingham Palace. 

The Castle itself was built during the Gothic revival period and is idyllically situated overlooking the Estate’s 1000 acre lake. The building of the castle was overseen by the Pain brothers who later designed and built the Gate House at Dromoland. The original building included 25 basement rooms and the cost of the building was estimated at 80,000 pounds. While the exact dates of construction are not known the building commenced around 1809 and went on for a number of years. We know that it had nearly been finished by 1817 due to a reference in a contemporary local paper. 

Irish Castle Weddings, a Lough Cutra Castle Speciality
Fancy a Fairytale Irish Castle Wedding in a historic lakeside setting? Lough Cutra Castle is the unique location in which to perform your wedding celebrations or any other special events you may have planned. Visit our Castle Weddings section to see more information and to view photographs of weddings that have been held at the Castle.

History of Lough Cutra Castle
Lough Cutra Castle and Estate has a long and varied history with both highs and lows, including famine relief to the billeting of soldiers, a period as a convent and life as a private home. It was designed by John Nash who worked on Buckingham Palace, and was visited by guests such as Lady Augusta Gregory and WB Yeats. The countryside surrounding Lough Cutra contains much evidence of a history dating back hundreds of years

There are several on site activities at Lough Cutra Estate. We offer pike fishing (fly or spinner) on our private 1000 acre lake - you will be the only boat on the lake allowing complete concentration on the sport at hand. During the season there is also driven pheasant and duck shooting combining an energetic day out with a fine lunch in the Castle. Around the Estate are a variety of trails offering exploration opportunities for walking, running, cycling, bird watching and nature enthusiasts in unspoilt woodlands and pasture. Withing the area there are a large amount of things to do ranging from sightseeing to shopping and golf. For further information see the drop down menus above.

Exclusive Castle Weddings at Lough Cutra

Lough Cutra wedding
CastleSituated in South Galway Lough Cutra Castle is a unique location for the hosting of your wedding celebrations or indeed any other special events you may have planned. Always unique, a wedding in the Castle can be as personal as you want to make it. Unlike a Castle hotel we do not tell you what to do, but offer suggestions and guidance to help you make decisions about the wedding. Lough Cutra Castle is very privately situated, in a glorious position at the heart of the private 1600 acre Lough Cutra Castle Estate, perched above the water and surrounded by manicured lawns, mature woodland and parkland scenery.

Entrance to the Castle
On entering the Castle gates and passing by what is known as the “Dog Lodge” your guests will be inspired by the beautiful scenery all along the mile long driveway before they see glimpses of the Castle through the boughs of ancient oak trees. On entering the Castle they will be stunned by the sumptuous decoration throughout. The four main reception rooms offer unparalleled comfort and style to small and large parties alike, while the grounds offer an ideal situation for any who wish to explore a little further.

Irish Castle Weddings, a Lough Cutra Castle Speciality
You can sip champagne overlooking Lough Cutra, the one thousand acre lake from which the Castle takes its’ name. The Gough Room allows friends and family to relax in informal splendour before entering the lavishly decorated Saloon and the Dining Room for their meal. Following dinner dancing takes place under the vaulted ceilings and Bacchanal plasterwork of the Great Hall.

Wedding Sizes
Anything up to one hundred guests can dine in the Saloon, a further sixty in the Dining room, and if your guest list is larger another forty in the Gough Room, meaning as many as two hundred can share your special day with you. If your numbers are more than two hundred a marquee may be erected on the Garden Terrace adjoining the Saloon.

Wedding Accommodation
In order to reduce some of the pressure on the Bride and Groom we always offer a suite in the Castle as a wedding gift.

The remaining accommodation in the Castle is also available for rental if required (three night minimum). The whole Castle accommodation consists of eight bedrooms served by seven bathrooms sleeping up to sixteen. For further information please see the Castle Rental section. We also have three self catering holiday cottages which can sleep up to twenty three guests altogether. Located around a courtyard built in 1846, they can be hired individually or together.

Cottage Rental Galway (West of Ireland)

Lough Cutra accomdation
We have three self catering cottages situated in the grounds of the Estate in South County Galway. Part of an original conversion dating back to the 1920’s the cottages offer modern facilites in a traditional setting.

 The three self catering cottages are situated around a two storey courtyard built during the Great Famine of 1846. All three have been refurbished in recent years and are continually being upgraded to improve your holiday experience with us. Each of the cottages exudes character, is unique in style and furnishings, and act as an excellent base from which to explore the Galway region as well as County Clare . For those who just want to get away from it all the cottages offer peace and tranquility in a historic and relaxing setting.

Cormorant Cottage - sleeps 6
Klaus Cottage - sleeps 9
Henry’s House - sleeps 8

Booking is easy. If you are interested in finding out more about rates or any other information regarding any of the three cottages please contact Edward Somerville through the email address or phone number at the bottom of this page. Use our availability calendars which are updated on a regular basis.

Driving Directions

From Dublin

Follow the N6 for Galway. At Loughrea avoid the bypass signposted for Gort, but head straight on into the town. At the end of the town turn left at the Westbridge onto the N66 signposted for Gort. Entering Gort turn left at the T Junction onto the N18. After c. 2 miles there is a small road to the left. Take this and immediately in front of you are the Main Gates to Lough Cutra Castle.

From Shannon

Take the N66 northbound for Ennis and Galway. After Ennis continue through Crusheen. After c. 5 miles there is a small car sales forecourt. Take the next right turn onto a small road (c. 0.75 miles) and the main entrance to Lough Cutra Castle is on your right.


Exclusive Fishing

Lough Cutra Fish
Lough Cutra is a completely private fishery. As such the lake not suffered the fate of many of the country’s other lakes with invasive species such as the Zebra Mussel and algal bloom taking hold. We intend to keep it this way. For this reason we do not allow any boats or vessels onto the lake that are not our own or that cannot be proven to have been out of any water for 28 days.

The other obvious advantage to being a private lake is that Lough Cutra has not been over exploited due to the strict controls on numbers of anglers allowed to fish. As well as this we do exercise a strict catch and release policy. There are many large and smaller pike, as well as some perch and rumours of one or two large trout.

The most common method is trolling and spinning with large lures from the boat, but dead-baiting from the shore is relatively successful too. We have recently attracted the interest of a number of guests fly fishing for pike who are suggesting that the lake is ideal for this method.

Thus we are fairly confident in saying that even the most inexperienced angler is bound to catch something!

Shooting Activities
Driven Pheasant and Duck shooting as well as Deer Stalking are available during the season at Lough Cutra by arrangement. Many of the woodlands at Lough Cutra were planted in the late 1700s and 1800s specifically with the sport of shooting in mind and thus offer great shooting in a convenient location. At the end of the nineteenth century Lough Cutra was famous throughout Ireland for the quality and number of woodcock presented. There is a full time game keeper on the Estate who ensures that all guests are extremely well catered for.

Driven Pheasant
The pheasant shoot was established in 2001 by Dromoland Game Sports who run the famous and very successful shoot at the Dromoland Castle Estate in County Clare. On an average day the bag includes Pheasant, Woodcock, Duck, Partidge and Snipe.

Deer Stalking
The fallow deer at Lough Cutra are plentiful. They can be stalked on foot or from high seats positioned at vantage points around the Estate. There are mature heads for trophy hunters and the meat can be processed by arrangement. Guests coming to the Estate for the first time are accompanied by an employee until they get their bearings and learn the boundaries.

Estate Activities -
Equestrian Horse riding is the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful 650 acre Estate which surrounds Lough Cutra Castle. The estate has certain equestrian facilities which include stabling for 10 horses, an outdoor sand arena/schooling ground and an excellent cross country course as well as plenty of treks.

Guests are welcome to bring their own horses by arrangement. Horses are available to hire locally (see below) and can be delivered to Lough Cutra Estate for your enjoyment. Our own horses cannot be used.

Local hunting includes the Galway Blazers, the North Galway Hunt, East Galway Hunt, the North Clare Hunt and the North Clare hunt. There are also local groups that ride out regularly such as the “Turkey Trotters” based near Gort.

Schooling courses are available with international rider Aidan O’Connell tutoring. Aidan O’Connell is an accredited equestrian tutor, and former professional international show jumper. Exclusive tuition can be arranged for groups of up to 10 - Booking must be arranged in advance and residential accommodation is available.

Hunter Trials
Our Hunter Trials used to be held at the end of March of every year around the Tommy Brennan designed course. It was a major event in the west of Ireland. Unfortunately we no longer hold the event, but there were often over 400 competitors from all over Ireland and the UK. People came from far and wide to sample the cross country course and the craic on the day.

Castle Rental

Lough Cutra Castle sleeps up to 16 guests in eight bedrooms in absolute luxury and due to our location on the Western seaboard is ideal for family gatherings, friendly weekends away or summer holidays. Less than 40 minutes form Shannon Airport we are convenient to International and European guests as well as our domestic visitors.

A further advantage of the location is that we can guarantee privacy as well as the utmost discretion for our discerning guests.

We pride ourselves on being able to offer you our guests what you want rather than having to tow the line. The relaxed nature of our staff and of the Castle itself means that guests are encouraged to feel as though Lough Cutra Castle is their own home.

As a family home the Castle offers an utterly unique combination of relaxed formality combined with every day living.

This page is being added to as time allows

There are eight bedrooms all recently refurbished.

Four Poster Room
Rollo’s Room
Nanny’s Room
Yellow Room
Round Room
French Bedroom
Doms Room
Red Room

The Castle is let on a self catering basis, but extra staff can be organised for your stay should you wish.

Contact Details

Mr. Edward Somerville,
Lough Cutra Castle,
Co. Galway,

Phone (from within Ireland): 086 2229184
Phone (from outside Ireland): +353 86 2229184

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