Pheasant Loop Castlemorris

Looped walk | 7.39 km | Co. Kilkenny | Moderate walk

Trail Description

Castlemorris Estate (also known as Castle Morres). Harvey Morres received a grant of land here in the late 17th century. Francis Morres, the first Viscount Mountmorris and Harvey’s eldest son commissioned Castle Morres and as one of the largest stately homes in the country and it was built in approx 1751. Francis Blunden who also designed such notable houses as Bessborough House and Woodstock House in Co Kilkenny, designed the house. Based in the parish of Aghaviller, the Castlemorris Estate was previously known as “Diore Lia” – a grey wood. Formerly home to the Morres and De Montmorency families, the family vault can still be seen in the local church yard. The church yard also contains the remains of an ancient round tower. Built to protect the occupants and valuables of monastic settlements from Viking raids, these towers dot the Nore valley. In 1924 the house was sold to the Land Commission. In the early 1930’s it was unroofed and a demolition sale took place. Many parts of the house are to be found in houses around the country. The house was finally demolished in 1978. The grounds now merge with other Coillte woods totalling approximately 2000 acres.

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