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Ballinlough Castle.

In County Westmeath.

 

 

Situated in an area of County Westmeath, near the rural town of Clonmellon is Ballinlough Castle. This old castle is perched upon a hill overlooking two of the Westmeath lakes. The 17th century castle is the home of Sir Nicholas and Lady Nugent.

The present castle was built in 1614 with a significant extension on approximately 1790. At this time the family changed their name from O'Reilly to Nugent, and they remain one of the few Catholic families to live in their original family home from the seventeenth century.

The Nugent's or Nogent of Westmeath were originally from Normandy, having came to England with William the Conquer in 1066.

In 1172 Sir Gilbert de Nogent came to Ireland with Sir Hugh de Lacy. Through a clever marriage to de Lacy's daughter, he was granted the Barony of Delvin in County Westmeath, and distributed this large tract of land among his brothers.

The gardens, although no longer open to the public are the venue for the Body & Soul Music Festival in June, together with the lakeside and woodland walks.

The grounds of the castle have hosted other concerts. Artists to have performed there since 2006 include Kenny Rogers, Van Morrison, Pet Shop Boys, Tiesto, Alexandra Burke and Dwight Yoakam.

The 4th annual Life Festival was also held in the grounds of Ballinlough Castle in May 2009.

In 2010 the Castle hosted Ireland's first gay music festival, Milk and also a County Fair

 
History of the Nugent family.