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This Sligo castle has changed hands for the first time since Oliver Cromwell

The Corscadden family has added it to their castle ‘collection’.

Markree Castle in County Sligo
Markree Castle in County Sligo
Image: Wikimedia

MARKREE CASTLE IN County Sligo has changed owners for the first time in over 350 years – when it was handed to the Cooper family as spoils of the Cromwellian wars.

The Corscadden family, who already owned three castles marketed under the Manor House Hotels brand, have bought the 225-acre property for an undisclosed sum after it was put on the market with a reported price tag of €3.1 million.

Descendents of Edward Cooper, who was gifted the property in the mid-1600s after Cromwell’s army overthrew the local O’Brien clan, had lived in the property for all but a brief stint when it was occupied during the Civil War.

The last owners, Charles and Mary Cooper, turned the castle into a 30-bedroom hotel and wedding venue in the late 1980s before last year deciding to sell. They were the 10th generation of the family to live in the property.

Repro Free - Markree Castle's resident flock of sheep The castle and grounds

Charles Cooper previously told the Irish Times it had been a “very difficult decision” to sell the palatial property, but it was “the right decision for the future of the castle”.

Members of the prominent Protestant family who once lived on the estate include Cooper’s grandfather Bryan, who served as both a Westminster MP for south County Dublin and later as a TD after independence.

Castle-garden The castle grounds Source: Suckindiesel

The family collection

Markree Castle is the fourth castle hotel taken over by the Corscaddens and the new owners plan to spend €5 million restoring the property before it’s reopened in March next year.

Howard Corscadden, whose hotelier parents Pappy and Mitzie bought the first of the family’s castles in 1991, said he was delighted to add Markree to the “Corscadden collection”.

He said Cooper had agreed to stay on in an “advisory capacity” at his ancestral home.

As a family, we have known the Coopers for many years, not just as colleagues in the hotel industry, but also as fellow members of the Manor House Hotels portfolio,” he said.

Markree_Castle_windows The Cooper family tree shown in Markree Castle Source: Justin Mason

The Corscaddens already own Ballyseede Castle in County Kerry, Bellingham Castle in CountyLouth and Cabra Castle in County Cavan.

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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