Louth Hall Co. Louth Republic of Ireland

Louth Hall

Louth Hall Co. Louth Republic of Ireland. One of the houses associated with Oliver Plunkett is Louth Hall, County Louth. It was here he came to stay on his return to Ireland in 1670, provided with lodgings by his namesake and kinsman Oliver Plunkett, sixth Baron Louth. The original building on the site was a late-mediaeval tower house set on a hill above the river Glyde. Most of the houses history is written around the Plunkett family, whose most famous member, Saint Oliver Plunkett hid from the British here in the 18th century. Oliver Plunkett was also the first Irishman to be canonised for some seven centuries when declared a saint in 1975. Plunkett family of Tallanstown, county Louth was descended from Sir Hugh de Plunkett, an Anglo-Norman who came to Ireland during the reign of Henry II. A branch of the family was associated with Tallanstown by the late 15th century. Oliver Plunkett was created Baron Louth by Henry VIII in 1541. By this time the Plunketts owned a tower house at Tallanstown, later called Louth Hall. It was there that the Lords Louth were to live for the next four hundred years. During the Elizabethan conquest the Plunketts of Tallanstown remained loyal to the English Crown. But they also formed connections with the old Gaelic culture. They adhered to the Catholic faith through the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1670 Lord Louth supported Oliver Plunkett, the Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland, providing lodgings for him on his return to Ireland from Rome in 1670.However, changes in legislation and government attitudes towards Catholicism following the so-called Popish Plot of 1678 obliged him to go into hiding. Finally arrested in Dublin in December 1679 he was initially tried in Ireland but Plunkett was later tried and executed in London for high treason in 1681.


Though the Plunketts were deeply involved in the uphevals of the 1640s and 1689-91, they survived with their lands intact. Lord Louth, a royalist supporter, was taken prisoner in 1642 and was outlawed for high treason, later forfeiting his lands under the Cromwellian land settlement. When Charles II returned to the throne in 1660, most of these lands were restored to Lord Louth and to his son, Matthew.


The accession of James II gave new life to Catholic aspirations. Matthew, the 7th Baron Louth, joined the Jacobite cause in 1689 and commanded an infantry regiment at the seige of Derry. He was outlawed and exiled, and died in September 1689. The 8th Baron Louth, Oliver, was only 21 when he succeeded to the title in 1689. He joined the Jacobite forces and was outlawed, and was in Limerick at the surrender in 1691. He was pardoned under the Arcticles of Limerick. He was made secure in his estates and eventually managed to prove the reversal of his grandfather’s outlawry for rebellion in 1641. In October 1695 Lord Louth took the oath of fidelity, but his refusal to take both the oath of royal supremacy over the church and a declaration against Catholic religious practices and beliefs, prevented him from sitting in the House of Lords. During the period of the Penal Laws, life was made hard for landowning Catholics. Matthew, the 9th Baron Louth (1698-1754), was a minor when his father Oliver died in November 1707. He was placed under the guardianship of Matthew Aylmer, a first cousin of his grandfather, and a convert to Protestantism. Matthew was brought up and remained a Protestant and his descendants were members of the Church of Ireland for many generations. But in the 19th century the family returned to the Catholic faith and Randal Percy Otway, the 13th Baron, was received into the Catholic Church in December 1867.


After their involvement in the wars of the 17th century, none of the Plunketts of Tallanstown were prominent in national affairs. They took part in political and public life only on the local, county level. The family’s military tradition persisted into the 19th and 20th centuries. The 13th Baron, Randal Percy Otway Plunkett (1832-1883), was an officer in the 79th Highlanders in the 1850s. The 14th Baron, Randal Pilgrim Ralph Plunkett (1868-1941), was an officer in the Westminster Dragoons and the Wiltshire Regiment, and served in both the First and Second World Wars.


The 14th Baron sold most of the estate soon after the 1903 Wyndham Land Act. He died in 1941, and his only surviving son, Otway, was briefly 15th Baron Louth before his death in 1950. The house and demesne at Tallanstown were also sold, some years after the estate, and the family settled in Jersey. Louth Hall is now derelict. Category



Please support our Sponsors here --

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *