Just outside Summerhill, Co. Meath stands the ruins of Dangan Castle. Beside Dangan church a long laneway leads up towards the ruin, in a field to the right as you advance towards the castle a three arch bridge – now unused – crosses a small brook. Approaching the two story Italian style mansion house – built in the early 1700s – its elegance is still not tainted by the trees and plants growing within its crumbling structure. From what I have gleamed the house has been uninhabited since the 1840s. Its most famous occupant being the son of the Earl Of Mornington, Arthur Wellesley aka The Duke of Wellington, who famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke was born in the castle and spent most of his youth there. The elevated south facing views from the castle are breathtaking, as is the remains of a bell house and sheds to the left of the main structure. The following is an excerpt from ‘The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland’ written by Stirling Coyne & N.P. Willis circa 1841 “The general effect of this once noble edifice must have been exceedingly beautiful when viewed in its perfect state, with its battlements and turrets emerging from the crowding woods. But unfortunately the demesne and castle passed from their original possessors into the hands of strangers: they were sold by the Marquis of Wellesley to Colonel Burrows, and by him let to Mr. O’Connor. While in the possession of the latter gentleman it was destroyed by fire, and all that now remains of this once stately pile is a naked and desolate shell.” I will not describe how badly I mistook where this ruin is which led to hours of driving up cul-de-sacs, getting the car stuck in mud and weirding out the locals!
GPS: 53.50503, -6.75317