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Castle Saunderson

Castle Saunderson

The Saunderson family acquired the original castle during the Ulster plantation. The original castle was inhabited by the O'Reillys of Breffni and formerly known as Breffni Castle since the 14th century. Robert Sanderson, who fought on the side of William of Orange inherited the castle from his father in 1676. James II's troops burned the castle in 1689. Months later, 400 of King James's soldiers were ambushed here while on retreat from the battle at Newtownbutler. They were driven toward the river Finn and many drowned.

The present castle dates to 1840 and was destroyed by fire in 1990. A notable member of the family born there was Edward James Saunderson, a founder of the Ulster Unionist Party.  Barry Maxwell, eldest son of Somerset Maxwell, and Baron Farnham heir apparent, died in cycling accident on the estate in 1879.

The last Saunderson who owned the castle was Edward's grandson, Captain Alexander "Sandy" Saunderson. He was a prisoner of war in WWII and was later present at War Tribunal at Nuremberg as the legal advisor to Lord Justice Lawrence. He sold the property to a businessman in 1977. He had planned to use it as a residence[citation needed], but this never transpired. It later served as a hotel, but was damaged by fire, the third fire to occur at the Castle.

The grounds include a church with crypt and family grave yard - the perfect way to spend an evening with the whole family.