Castlewellan Town.

and Castlewellan Castle.

County Down.

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From Irish: Caisleán Uidhilín meaning "Uidhilín's castle"

Read about Castlewellan from Samuel Lewis' Topographical Directory of Ireland 1837.

Castlewellan from the Ulster Towns Directory 1910.

The annual Castlewellan show attracts a large following.

The town of Castlewellan is situated about five miles north of Newcastle, sitting on top of a hill at the foot of Slievenaslat mountain, it enjoys commanding views of the nearby Mourne Mountains. The wide main street and market square are typical of late plantation town planning. The town probably dates from the early 1700's when Ansley from Yorkshire purchased a tract of land from the Maginnis clan.

The linen industry brought much prosperity and employment to the town, when a factory was built by the Larmour family just east of the town on what came to be called Mill Hill, the mill derived a large amount of its power from a water turbine, it later years this was augmented by steam power.

When the linen industry began to decline Sir Grahame Larmour turned part of the factory over to pig fattening, bringing large quantities of swill (Food scraps) from Belfast by train to nearby Castlewellan station, which was located on a spur line connecting Newcastle to Banbridge, the line was opened in 1906.

See railways in County Down.

The Larmour's former family home half way up Ardnabannon hill is now an outdoor activities centre.

The town stands on the southern edge of Castlewellan Forest Park, this extends to an area of 460 hectares the main feature of the park is its lake which is about one mile long and is stocked with trout, it is possible walk around the lake via a well kept path, the total length of which is probably about three miles. The park has a varied selection of mature broad leaf and coniferous trees.

The national Arboretum covering an area of forty hectares contains many species of trees from around the world and is regarded as one of he finest collections in Ireland. Overlooking the eastern end of the lake is Castlewellan Castle built in the Scottish Baronial style in 1846 from granite quarried from nearby Ballymagreehan quarry, which incidentally supplied the stone for the statue of St Patrick outside Downpatrick.

The Grange yard dating from the 1720 consists of three courtyards built in the Queen Anne style, these buildings were the former farm yard and home of the Annsley's, until they built the castle in 1846. It contains the Grange Coffee shop and display centre.

The latest addition to the park is the Peace Maze, this project was funded by a grant from the Peace and Reconciliation Committee, it is reputed to be the largest hedge maze in the world covering an area of one hectare, the total length of paths in the maze amount to three and a half kilometers. If you manage to find your way to the centre you will be rewarded by a spectacular view.

Other facilitates available are a caravan and camping site and also horse riding trails.

See also The Annesley Estate

Castlewellan was connected to the railway systen in 1906, read about Castlewellan station.

Castlewellan Links.

Lots of information and images of the town. The site is in the form of a book written by local man Patsy Mullen who carried on a business in the town for many years.

If you want to know anything about Castlewellan past or present visit Patsy's site.

Would you like to learn about Midi Music then visit Frank Lennon's excellent site where you can also download dozens of his arrangements
Castlewellan Forest Park

Co Down
Tel +44 (0)28 4377 8664
E Mail
Web Site
From the South replace 028 with 048

Tourist Information


For more information about Castlewellan Castle visit The Forestry Service web site.