Castle Saunderson

Castle Saunderson is set in the heart of the Geopark. The story of Castle Saunderson is marked by fire and blood, conquest and division, and finally, peace, reconciliation and multiculturalism! In many ways, the story of Castle Saunderson is reflective of the story of the island of Ireland and it’s colourful history.

An international Scouting Centre opened adjacent to the castle in 2012. The centre has delivered many programmes that are in line with the Messengers of Peace programme (MoP), which is an initiative set up by the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, with the aim to make the world a more peaceful place.

Facilities: car parking, interpretation and walking trails.

Getting Here

Castle Saunderson

  • Main Car Park
  • N54
  • Castlesaunderson
  • Cavan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Main Car Park
  • N54
  • Castlesaunderson
  • Cavan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • 54.1279964, -7.3632086

Woodland Walking Trail

  • Distance: 5.5km
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Grade: Easy
  • Terrain: Woodland walk, flat trail
  • Route: Circular
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Dogs: Dogs must be kept under control and waste disposed of

The Castle Trail has seen the original walkways around the castle reinstated, and charts the history of the Saundersons, one of the most significant Anglo-Irish families, and in particular Colonel Edward Saunderson, known as the ‘Hero of the Loyalists’ and the founder of modern Irish Unionism. As you walk around, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history of the building and the events related to it. The trail is lined with information panels, and makes for an educational, as well as relaxing and beautiful walk.

Castle Saunderson Walk

Heritage

This Castle was acquired by the Saunderson family during the plantations of Ulster. It was originally inhabited by the O-Reilly clan, and was originally named “Breffni Castle”. Robert Sanderson, who fought alongside William of Orange, inherited the castle from his father in 1676. It was after this that James II and his troops burned the castle, in 1689. The present castle dates to 1840, and was again, tragically burned in 1990.

The Castle Trail has seen the original walkways around the castle reinstated. The trail charts the history of the Saundersons, one of the most significant Anglo-Irish families, and in particular, Colonel Edward Saunderson, known as the ‘Hero of the Loyalists’ and the founder of modern Irish Unionism. Edward’s family’s story is fascinating and includes Brian Boru, William of Orange, and even infamous Nazi war criminals.

Along the north-eastern side of the castle, you’ll find the River Finn flowing, where it enters a channel of upper Lough Erne. Because the River Finn is tributary to the River Foyle, it is included as an Area of Special Scientific Interest, (ASSI). This is due to the richness of it’s plant and animal life, and the diversity and beauty of it’s natural banks.

Itineraries

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Distances are from Castle Saunderson