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574 years of history.

Dripsey Castle Estate is a medieval castle and Georgian Mansion set on a 110 acre estate bordered by the meandering Dripsey river and lake. The castle towers over the river and is visible from the road, while the Georgian mansion is completely hidden by mature trees.


Medieval Castle

Dripsey Castle was built by Cormac Láidir MacCárthaigh, one of the last high Chieftains of Ireland in 1450. At the time it would have been known as Carrignamuck Castle. It would have been a tower house of protection for nearby castles in the area such as Blarney Castle and Carrigodrohid Castles.


Georgian Mansion

It stayed in the MacCárthaigh clan until the formidable Bowen-Colthurst families of Blarney Castle and Annesgrove Estate seized the lands and built the Georgian Mansion in 1740. The facade of the house is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture with its symmetrical windows and commanding entry way.



The house remained in the Bowen-Colthurst family until it was bought by the O’Shaughnessy family, who founded and ran the Dripsey Woolen Mills for a hundred years. Andrew O’Shaughnessy was an ingenious inventor of his day and his innovative hydroelectric turbines that powered the local mill also powered the house until very recently. The turbine is now being replaced with a state of the art model that is going to increase the output generation of the original turbine by 15 times. The entire estate runs off this clean, abundant renewable energy source.


Careful restoration.

The Georgian mansion has been renovated to exacting standards and includes eight bedrooms, all ensuite with spectacular bathrooms and furnishings. It is in two parts; the main 18th century house with 8 bedrooms all en-suite, a reception room, games room, library, professional kitchen and the early 20th century ballroom.


A new beginning.

Serial entrepreneur and fintech investor Darren Dineen and his wife Orla Rutherford are proactive in creating a sustainable future for themselves and their locality while celebrating authentic and enriching Irish cultural experiences for guests by championing the best Irish food, art, music and culture.

Darren & Orla

Cork natives who had travelled for work extensively across the globe, Darren and Orla remained enchanted by their home county and made a decision to invest in this historic estate in late 2022.

The determined pair were troubled by climate change and food providence and wanted to be proactive in creating a sustainable future for themselves and their locality. They had been looking for a historic home to invest in for quite some time when Dripsey Castle Estate came on the market. Bowled over by its green credentials, historic significance and seismic potential the young couple set about fending off ferocious US interest in the property and settled the sale in less than 3 months.

With characteristic determination and will they began a top to toe re-imagination of the interiors which was completed in 7 months, just in time to act as host for their 2023 wedding. With the house renovation complete, the couple have now turned their attention to the grounds of which 45 acres is certified organic land. Orla, having taken a break from the classroom, has turned her attention to organic orchards, farming and a vegetable growing operation. Darren, ever the innovator,  has been focused on the upgrade of the hydroelectricity station and growing his finance business at home and in the UK. 

​​There were many eventful discoveries and days in the renovation process but the most stand out moment has to be when we called to Darren’s grandmother, Joan Dineen, to tell her that we had bought Dripsey Castle Estate. She was delighted and surprised and revealed, without missing a beat, that she had worked there as a nanny for two years during her youth. The Dineens had come full circle! 

The biggest challenge in renovating a property like this is remaining faithful to the original design and features of the house while making it the necessary modernisations. For example, we found two fireplaces that had been tiled over dating from 1740 and 1910. We chose to have them fully restored to their original glory, a laborious and slow process, expertly carried out by Limerick based stone mason Stone Mad. We also had all the wooden floors dating between the late 1800s and early 1900s refurbished, restoring grandeur to the bedrooms that had previously been carpeted. 

They visited many stately homes and historic houses around Ireland to get a feel for the project but were hugely guided by Orla's father, Colman Rutherford, a historian, expert and great admirer of the Georgian houses of Ireland. The architect, Mark Dignam of Meitheal architects, also helped to be historically sympathetic at all times.

The magical energy in Dripsey Castle estate comes predominantly from the surrounding land and huge mature trees. The estate has benefited from the tree collections and acquisitions of the Colthurst family who collected many exotic specimens of trees in the 18th and 19th centuries. There is an air of the “untouched” about Dripsey and the lack of human intervention or industrial farming of the grounds has led to a preservation of flora and fauna of the land. You can expect to see the native red squirrel, foxes, badgers, frogs, owls, falcons and all manner of native Irish birds on the property in great numbers.

All of the sculptures, glasswork and paintings all come from Irish artists and the work on the house is all done by local contractors. Darren and Orla want their guests to experience the most authentic and enriching Irish cultural experience, and are dedicated to champion the best Irish food, art, music and culture for your visit.

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