Duth Aireagail: The Countryside of the Oratory
The building that remains is of a castellated house which succeeded the ancient castle, and is not the castle itself, although some remains may be incorporated here and there. It was rebuilt in 1804 by Henry Leader Justice. The lands were sold to the Houlihans in 1955.
In older days is was one of the castles of the O’Keeffes, who also owned Dromagh and Dromsicane nearby, and they appear to have built it in the sixteenth century. In 1576 it was owned by Art O’Keeffe, chief of the clan, who was succeeded by Art Oge (died 1610): Manus (died 1636) and then Daniel. The latter lost the lands in 1654: recovered them on the Restoration, but unfortunately died before he could take them over. The lands were finally confiscated after 1692, and eventually disposed of by the Hollow Sword Blade Company. Abraham Dickson was the purchaser and in 1712 he left it to his grand-nephew Hugh Dickson. By 1728 they were owned by Henry Bishop of Cloyne who made them over to James Maule. After that they passed to Henry Wrixon who gave a lease to Thomas Justice.
The castle and lands passed to Henry Chimmery Justice, who lived in Dublin and died there in 1859. He left the castle to his sister Ellen ( Mrs Wallis) and she in time passed it on to her daughters, Mrs Moriarty and Mrs Crofts.
Eventually it passed to the Land Commission, who sold it to a daughter of the O’Callaghans of Kanturk. She had married a Greek and rejoiced in the name of Madame Halikiopolo. She died about 1950 but not before she had got a happy reputation for noteworthy tea parties. No other use could be found for the house so it was sold about fifty years ago.
The Castles of County Cork
James N. Healy