Glenveagh Castle was built by John George Adair, a wealthy land speculator from Co. Laois. He bought large areas of land in Donegal. The castle was built between 1867 and 1873 and is a Scottish-style four storey rectangular keep.
It is surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland, which contrasts with the rugged surroundings of 40,000 acres of mountains, lakes, glens and woods.
Tenants evicted to improve the view
John Adair was a cruel, unpopular landlord in Donegal and Ireland. He evicted 244 tenants from their ‘black houses’ in the Derryveagh Evictions of 1861.
This was allegedly to improve the aesthetic appearance around his castle and grounds, although it is likely Adair had more than just that as motive.
It took 200 police to carry out the evictions over three days – 44 families of 244 people.
Most of these people went to the workhouse in Letterkenny. The Donegal Relief Fund helped some of the young people from the evictions to emigrate to Sydney to start afresh.
Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin among visitors
Henry Plumer McIlhenny of Philadelphia, bought the estate in 1937. He was an Irish American and his grandfather John McIlhenny grew up in Milford a few miles from of Glenveagh.
Hollywood stars Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo stayed at the castle while McIlhenny owned it. He left castle and gardens to the Irish nation in 1981 when the upkeep of the estate became too much.
Read about more Irish castles
Tourist attractions in IrelandThe Blarney Stone Bru na Boinne Bunratty Castle The Burren Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge The Cliffs of Moher Croagh Patrick Dingle Peninsula Garnish Island The Giant's Causeway Glendalough The Guinness Storehouse Hill of Tara Lakes of Killarney Newgrange The Peace Bridge Ring of Kerry Wild Atlantic Way
Irish citiesBelfast Cork Derry Dublin Galway Limerick Waterford
Tourism articlesTripAdvisor's top 10 destinations in Ireland for 2015 Top holiday destinations in Ireland - as voted by the Irish Top holiday destinations in Ireland - as voted by tourists Ireland's favourite heritage site The most romantic city in Ireland Hidden gems in Ireland The top ten Irish beaches Where would Irish people take overseas guests? Tips for first time visitors to Ireland What not to do when visiting Ireland Ireland's top sacred pilgrimage sites Eight reasons why Irish pubs are Ireland's top attractions What do you like about Ireland? Local Irish pubs number one attraction for tourists Tourists happy with 'value for money' on visits to Ireland Video - initiative to promote 'Ireland's Ancient East' Ireland can boast the best 'cliff view' in the world Most visited tourist attractions in Ireland in 2014? Industry warned not to 'repeat the mistakes of the past' Dublin 'favourite worldwide city' for young travellers Which tourist attractions in Ireland made the Lonely Planet's ultimate guide? Dublin is one of the world's top three cities say Lonely Planet Ireland has three of the world's four friendliest cities
Did you know?An Irish schoolteacher has created a brilliant YouTube video explaining the history of Ireland in just six minutes. It’s brilliantly done and makes learning both fun and engaging for children and also adults. Find out more.
Have you heard about…Are you a Celt? Or a Gael? Viking or British? Well it might depend on where you come from in Ireland according to a new study. A genetic map has been created by researchers that reveals the impact of immigration, invasion and plantation throughout Irish history. Find out more.
What about this…The Incredible life of Irish American Molly Brown saw her labelled ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ by the media after surviving several disasters including the sinking of the Titanic. Find out more.