Castle Archdale in County Fermanagh features in this week’s Thursday Doors blogpost.
These terraced buildings would have housed the servants’ quarters, the stables, carriage stores and estate offices and have been very well preserved. Let’s have a look around this inner courtyard.
The murals painted on the windows and doors depict some of the servants you would tend to find in places such as this. The little chimney sweep is my favourite, someone who would have gone completely unnoticed in his day. He looks so out of place beside the little girl and the well dressed servants but reminds us of how hard life was for some children back then.
One of the entrances to the courtyard contains a patch of wall that has been left bare, exposing the original stone, which I thought was a nice touch.
Here we came across some drawings of how the estate appeared through the ages. Although the original castle has long since gone, this is an image of how it looked in its day.
The original Castle Archdale was built of limestone for John Archdale of Norfolk, England, in 1612. He had been given lands during the Plantation of Ulster but the castle was destroyed by fire and abandoned in 1689 during the Jacobite-Williamite war. The site of the old castle is about a mile from where the the present buildings and courtyard stand.
Georgian Castle Archdale was built between 1773 and 1777 by Col. Mervyn Archdale, the great great grandson of John Archdale. The next image shows how it looked in the Victorian era when it was in the hands of Edward Archdale, great grandson of Mervyn.
Unfortunately, the grand manor house no longer exists but here it is in an old photograph from the 1920’s.
During WW2 Castle Archdale was requisitioned by the Royal Airforce and housed up to 2,500 people. It was a major base for flying boats protecting Atlantic shipping from German U-boats. There were three floors over a basement and a six-bay entrance front. The manor house was known as RAF Castle Archdale from 1941-1957 but was in ruins by 1959 and finally demolished in 1970.
Thanks for stopping by for this week’s Thursday Doors from Castle Archdale, part two will cover more of the surrounding estate and it’s amenities but in the meantime why not carry on over to Norm’s blog to see his colourful post.