History of Castle Dargan Estate

Castle Dargan Estate is nestled on 170 acres of mature woodlands with breath-taking views.

The Estate first opened its doors in August 2006 and has steadily grown in popularity since then. The centerpiece of the Estate is the Castle Dargan House. Built in the 18th century, its 21st century restoration has rekindled the country lifestyle of its early years.

Castle Dargan House and the Castle Ruins (located beside hole 3 in the golf course) bear witness to the wonderful sense of history that still exists in what is now a rare retreat for the discerning traveller.

The castle is divided into two sections that are 25m apart. The eastern section on the right is most likely the remains of the tower house’s main tower. The ruins are in the south east corner of the tower, and there are only two storeys left, but it would have been higher. A portion of a doorway survives, providing access to a stairwell lit by a series of slit windows. These lead to a shattered entrance to a first-floor chamber.

The remains of an angled passageway and doorway can be found on the ground level. This castle fragment was most likely a mural tower connected to the bawn wall. Between the east and west blocks, there is a curving section of a natural rock outcrop with partial stone-facing arcs, which is most likely the remains of the bawn wall. The remains of a number of 18th / 19th-century buildings and a walled garden, which were part of the estate of the 18th century Castle, can be found just to the south of the Castle Dargan House.

William Middleton

In March 1875, William Middleton paid £12,000 for Castle Dargan with a five-year £10,000 loan from Andrew Hosie, a successful miller in Dromahair. William Middleton died in 1882, the loan remaining unpaid, and John Robert Ormsby departing unexpectedly and alone for the United States.

In September 1883, the 959 acres of Castle Dargan were auctioned off, with Andrew Hosie being the sole bidder, and Mary Ormsby (William Middleton’s daughter) and her seven children retiring to Elsinore, a Middleton property in Rosses Point.

One of the daughters, Amy Frances Vernon, later achieved fame as a County Sligo lady golfer, winning Irish and South African Ladies’ Championships; her husband, Larry (Arthur) Vernon, won the inaugural West of Ireland Championship at County Sligo Golf Club in 1923.

Andrew Hosie died in 1888, having already vested Castle Dargan in his nephew, John, in December 1883.

Following extensive repairs to the house in 1884, the current hall-door entrance and bay windows were added in 1895. The demesne was farmed by John’s son, James, and grandson, John, until the death of John C. Hosie in November 1997.

With the sale of the mountain lands in 1894 to the Coopers of Markree Castle, and of several smaller sections in the intervening years, the remaining 145 acres of Castle Dargan demesne and the nineteen acres of Carrigeenboy near the gate-lodge were sold in 1998 by Mrs Kathleen Hosie to Dermot Fallon of Ballinacarrow, Co. Sligo.

With that, the continuous occupation of three families over almost six centuries was finally drawn to a close.