Caldwell Church, Fermanagh, Ireland

Castle Caldwell was one of many plantation era castles built around the shores of Lough Erne during the early part of the 17th century. The castle, also known as Hasett’s Fort, was built between 1612 and 1618 by Francis Blennerhaset from Norfolk. Blennerhaset later rented it to the Caldwells, a rich merchant family from Enniskillen, who bought it outright in 1662. It is unclear when this church, about 500 metres to the west of the castle, was built however the tomb of James Caldwell which stands behind it would lend us to believe it may have been built during his lifetime. He died in 1716 in the castle. The five other burials that are known in this small cemetery are all from other families, the Hamiltons and Brownes, who may have been domestic staff. The castle passed into the hands of the Bloomfield family through marriage and in 1857 John Caldwell Bloomfield, its then owner, founded Belleek Pottery. The castle was inhabited until the early part of the 20th century but now it is almost impossible to access due to the amount of ivy and other foliage covering its decaying walls. The church is also in a state of serious disrepair but still stands as a charming vision in the dense green forest.

GPS: 54.49139, -7.97998

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