Saturday 22 September 2012

Castle Neynoe, Sligo

Castle Neynoe
Co. Sligo

This grainy black and white picture was taken in the 1920s
is the only photograph that survives of the castle before
 its roof was removed in the 1930s.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Kearns whom the copyright is credited to

The entrance front of the castle has been decimated since some
 of its materials were re-used in the building of a local school.
 Accreditation- Photograph by Ellie Ross

A drawing of how the original exterior of the entrance front of Castle Neynoe
 once appeared. The two-storey main block of the building had a projecting
 central tower and was flanked on either side by single storey wings.
 Accreditation- Picture by David Hicks

Castle Neynoe is not a large house in comparison with other mansions but should be recorded for the curiosity of having all the features of a castle but on a much-reduced scale. The house is described as a three bay, two-storey over basement mansion with a central projecting tower. The house was built on the site of an earlier castle or fort in the 1790s and was designed with a Regency Gothic influence. The facades of the house are decorated with crenellations, arched windows and gothic crosses together with hood mouldings above regular sash windows. It was designed by Robert Robinson and his signed but undated architectural drawings still exist today. A flight of curved steps that wrapped around the base of the projecting curved tower led to the front door of the house. Once inside you would have found yourself in an elliptical hallway with niches on either side of an archway that lead to the inner hall. This area of the house contained the main staircase that was lit by a tall window on the half landing. The house was made up of four reception rooms which included two drawing rooms on the entry level and five modest bedrooms on the floor above. An adjoining single storey wing incorporated a cellar while the basement of the main block of the house contained the kitchen. It is said that there was once a glasshouse attached to Castle Neynoe which was located on the south side of the house overlooking the wooded landscaped grounds. The rear of the building overlooked a courtyard that was surrounded by the various outbuildings that served the needs of the household. The entrance gates and lodge to the demesne still exist but like the main building, they are clinging to some vestige of their former appearance. Three sets of gates are arranged among four pillars, the large central gates provided access for a horse and cart while the smaller gates on either side provided access for workers, servants and the occupants of the gate lodge. The lodge has a hipped roof and is a simple building bearing little resemblance to the main house found at the end of the long winding avenue. Here, Castle Neynoe faced the mountains and overlooked the landscaped grounds that for a time included a lake which was drained in later years
The ruined remains of the Neynoe family mausoleum in the
nearby Kiltycloghan graveyard. This monument which dates from 1828 should
be restored as many of its original pieces lie scattered on the ground.
The Neynoe family crest is featured on the surviving end of the structure.
 Accreditation- Picture by David Hicks


  1. Thank you so much for these pictures and information. My husband, Anthony Neynoe Garstin, is a descendant of the Neynoes, and we visited there in 2003, but were not able to find out much about it. Do you know what became of the plans to build a power station nearby?

  2. Hi there, Im very interested that your husband is related to the Neynoe family. Over the hill from the remains from the Castle is a large collection of electricity pylons, however there are a good distance away. If you forward me your email address I can forward you the chapter that was omitted from the published book as it contains alot more information in relation to the Neynoe family.

    David Hicks

  3. My e-mail address is So good to hear from you! Suzanne Yarbrough Garstin

  4. Ive just sent you that chapter via email, Hope you enjoy it.

  5. Hello , another Neynoe descendant here ,from Manchester . It was facinating to read your article , we must come to Sligo soon .

  6. Hello , another Neynoe descendant here ,from Manchester . It was facinating to read your article , we must come to Sligo soon .

  7. Hi David,
    My grandmother was part of the O'Boy family who lived in Castle Neynoe until the building became uninhabitable. Were they descended from the Neynoes - not sure if you have any further information on this.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi there, I have no contact details for you, but I have a piece that I wrote based on research that I could email to you if you send me on your address . Kind Regards
      David H

  8. My mother was raised in this castle. She is Kathleen O'Boy. I spent my childhood years here and knew every bit of this land.

  9. Hi does anyone have a picture of The Neynoe. Coat of arms ?
    Thank you !

  10. Hi just wondering does anyone know of a James lockhart who i think was a land agent on the castle neymoe Estate. Any information greatly appreciated. Thanks Joseph Lockhart

  11. Hi there David and followers. Do you know when the actual castle building was last inhabited - in the 1920 photo it looks dishevelled but there are a couple of people on the steps?

  12. Hello I am also a descent and wondering about family crest and info on Neynoe family
    I am in Canada

  13. My husband is descended from Charlotte Neynoe who married 1) Robert Dawson Bolton and 2) Henry Colles Carter any extra information you have on the Neynoe family would be much appreciated - I have done extensive research on the Carter family who were also noblemen

  14. I happen to have a book that belonged to William Bridges Neynoe Esq. published in 1814. Inside the front cover is a bookplate with what appears to be the Neynoe family crest. I am happy to send a photo of it to anyone who is interested if you contact me at

    The book is Patronage, Vol. 4 by Maria Edgeworth, an Irish novelist. I was doing research on the bookplate when I discovered this text thread.