Friday, 10 February 2017

Knockdrin Castle

THE LEVINGE BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY WESTMEATH, WITH 5,017 ACRES

The first of this name on record is LEVINGE or Lyfing, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1013, who crowned CANUTE in 2017, and died in 1020; next is LEVINGE or Lyfing, Bishop of Worcester and Crediton in 1046, whose nephew possessed, at the time of the Domesday survey, six lordships in Derbyshire and two in Nottinghamshire.

From him descended

SIR WALTER LEVINGE, a soldier of the Cross, and companion in arms of the lion-hearted RICHARD I.

This Sir Walter bore the arms the family still use; he was ancestor of

THOMAS LEVINGE, of Baddesley Ensor, Warwickshire, living in 1434, whose great-grandson,

RICHARD LEVINGE, of Parwich, married, in 1653, Anne, daughter of George Parker, of Park Hill, Staffordshire, aunt of Thomas, Earl of Macclesfield, LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND, and was father of

THE RT HON SIR RICHARD LEVINGE (1656-1724), Knight, of Parwich, Recorder of, and MP for Chester, who wedded firstly, in 1680, Mary, daughter and co-heir of Sir Gawen Corbyn, Knight, of London, by whom he had three sons and three daughters; and secondly, in 1723, Mary, daughter of the Hon Robert Johnson, one of the barons of the exchequer in Ireland, and by her had one son, Richard, of Calverstown, County Kildare.

Sir Richard was created a baronet, designated of High Park, in 1704.

Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD LEVINGE, 2nd Baronet (c1690-1748), of Parwich, Derbyshire, and High Park (Knockdrin Castle), County Westmeath, who wedded, in 1718, Isabella, daughter of Sir Arthur Rawdon Bt, of Moira, County Down; but dying without issue, in 1748, was succeeded by his brother,

SIR CHARLES LEVINGE, 3rd Baronet (1693-1762), who espoused, in 1722, Anne, daughter and co-heir of Major Samuel Greene MP, of Killaghy Castle, County Tipperary, and was succeeded by his only child,

SIR RICHARD LEVINGE, 4th Baronet (c1723-86), who married firstly, in 1748, Dorothea, daughter and co-heir of William Kennedy MP, of County Longford, and had issue,
CHARLES, his successor;
Richard;
Anne; Dorothea; Frances.
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR CHARLES LEVINGE, 5th Baronet (1751-96), who wedded, in 1779, Elizabeth Frances, only daughter of Nicholas Reynell, of Reynella, County Westmeath, and had issue,
RICHARD, his successor;
Charles, Lieutenant-Colonel;
Selina; Caroline; Anne; Frances.
Sir Charles was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD LEVINGE, 6th Baronet (1785-1848), of Knockdrin Castle, who espoused, in 1810, Elizabeth Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas, 1st Baron Rancliffe, and had issue,
RICHARD GEORGE AUGUSTUS, his successor;
George Charles Rawdon;
Reginald Thomas John;
Augustus Frederick;
Charles Vere;
Vere Henry;
William James;
Edward Parkyns;
Harry Corbyn;
Elizabeth Anne; Georgiana Frances Caroline.
Sir Richard was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR RICHARD GEORGE AUGUSTUS LEVINGE, 7th Baronet (1811-84), of Knockdrin Castle.
Sir Vere Henry Levinge, 8th Baronet (1819–85);
Sir William Henry Levinge, 9th Baronet (1849–1900);
Sir Richard William Levinge, 10th Baronet (1878–1914);
Sir Richard Vere Henry Levinge, 11th Baronet (1911–84);
Sir Richard George Robin Levinge, 12th Baronet (b 1946).

KNOCKDRIN CASTLE, near Mullingar, County Westmeath, is an impressive Gothic-Revival mansion of about 1830 by James Shiel.

It was built for Sir Richard Levinge, 6th Baronet, 

The main block comprises two square turrets, joined to a gate-tower by a lower range.

There is an arcaded Gothic central hall; oak carvings; and an Elizabethan-style staircase.


During the 2nd World War the castle was requisitioned for troop accommodation and was occupied by a company of the 6th (Dublin) Infantry of the Irish Army.

The army left in 1945 and handed the castle back to the Levinges.

The Levinge family owned Knockdrin until 1946, although the 11th Baronet (later a Director of Guinness Ltd) had not been resident there for some time.


In that year the estate was sold to Paddy Dunne-Cullinan, who remained at Knockdrin until 1961, when he in turn sold the estate to Hans and Irene Freiherr von Prondzynski from Germany.

The arable land is now leased out, but the family continues to live in the castle.

Other former seat ~ Parwich Hall, Derbyshire.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if you have ever heard of Slavoyre (strange name! I gather it is spelt in various ways) - a castle near Lough Derg in Tipperary, I believe the original family were called Hickie. Heard of it last weekend, it seems an Australian lady (whose husband disappeared most mysteriously a year or two ago) owns it but has it up for sale. Friends are having their daughter's wedding there later. Might - or might not - be worth looking into?