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Castle Bernard, Bandon, Co Cork
Castle Benard, a large classical house, was built on the site of an ancient O’Mahoney fortress in 1798 for the First Viscount Bandon. It was altered and enlarged in Gothic style in the mid 19th century. It became known as one of the most hospitable houses in Ireland and the house parties held by the fourth earl and his wife were legendary.

One night in 1921 the Republican army burned it down, allowing the earl, his wife and their house guests a short time to salvage some items from the building and watch it burning from the lawn. They then kidnapped the elderly earl and eventually returned him to his gutted home three weeks later. He never recovered from the experience and died in 1924.

A modern house is now built a short distance from the ruin and the uncontrolled growth of trees and ivy gives the building its romantic character. There is a huge high window in the curved stairwell which would have been a magnificent feature in its day. Above the grand doorway and grass covered steps are a fine carved crest and standards. Several of the attractive stone window frames are still more or less intact which adds to the appeal of this splendid ruin.
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