Classiebawn Castle

1694 10,000 acres of land in Sligo comes into the possession of Sir John Temple of East Sheen, Attorney General of Ireland
1704 Sir John Temple dies, his son Henry inherits his estate
1723 Henry Temple is created the first Viscount Palmerston of Palmerston in County Dublin
1757 1st Viscount Palmerston dies and is succeeded by his grandson
1802 2nd Viscount Palmerston dies and is suceeded by his son, Henry John Temple the 3rd Viscount Palmerston.
1808 3rd Viscount also known as Lord Palmerston visits his Sligo estates for the first time and plans improvements in Mullaghmore and its harbour
1822 Building begins at Mullaghmore harbour. The project, designed by Alexander Nimmo, is funded by Lord Palmerston and government grants
1827 Short pier and jetty at the northern end of Mullaghmore harbour is completed
1828 Harbour is officially opened and plots of land in the vicinity are available for warehouse sites
1841 Mr Kincaid, Lord Palmerston’s Sligo agent, is concerned at progress of harbour extension. It is costing £500 per month.
1842 Extension to Mullaghmore Harbour is completed
1847 Carrick of Whitehaven, the first of nine ships carrying émigré tenants from Lord Palmerston’s Sligo estates, sinks off the Canadian coast.
1855 Lord Palmerston becomes British Prime Minister
1859 Lord Palmerston becomes British Prime Minister for the second time
1865 Lord Palmerston dies. His holiday home, Classiebawn Castle at Mullaghmore, is inherited by his stepson, William Cowper-Temple, later 1st Baron Mount Temple of Mount Temple
1874 Classiebawn Castle, designed by the architect, J Rawson Carroll, is completed
1888 William Cowper-Temple, 1st Baron Mount Temple, dies. Classiebawn inherited by his nephew, the Rt. Hon. Evelyn Ashley
1889 Rt Hon Evelyn Ashley discusses transfering Mullaghmore harbour to the Board of Works in Dublin
1907 Rt. Hon. Evelyn Ashley dies. Classiebawn inherited by his son, Lt. Col. Wilfrid Ashley, later 1st Baron Mount Temple of Lee, Southampton
1916 The Castle is commandeered by the Irish Free State Army
1918 During the ‘Cliffoney Land Fight’, five local IRA men are convicted of unlawful assembly for ploughing and cultivating Lt. Col. Ashley’s grazing land
1920 Top level IRA plans to destroy Classiebawn are aborted in the face of vehement opposition by local active IRA members
1920 Letter to Lt. Col. Ashley is seized by Sein Feiners, endorsed with “passed I.R. censor” and delivered
1921 Rt. Hon. Lt. Col. Ashley MP asks the British Prime Minister for protection of Classiebawn. Later reports of ‘destruction’ to the Castle
1922 IRA hold three hostages at Classiebawn in response to three IRA volunteers imprisoned in Derry under sentence of death.
1922 Marriage of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Edwina Ashley, elder daughter of Rt. Hon. Lt. Col. Wilfrid Ashley MP
1922 Rt. Hon. Lt. Col. Ashley MP closes up Classiebawn
1923 Local Republican volunteers are detained in Classiebawn by Freestate Army pending transfer to Finner Camp in County Donegal
1925 Rt. Hon. Lt. Col. Ashley ‘mothballs’ Classiebawn and arranges distribution of its contents
1939 Lt. Col. Ashley dies. His daughter, Edwina Mountbatten, inherits Classiebawn
1943 Edwina Mountbatten visits Classiebawn
1945 Edwina Mountbatten starts a programme of renovations
1947 Edwina Mountbatten and her family visit Classiebawn; renovations are underway
1948 A generator is installed providing light and power
1949 Renovations are complete
1954 Edwina Mountbatten appeals to the Irish Government for aid after flooding of the peat bog. She encourages cutting of estate bushes for fuel
1960 Edwina Mountbatten dies. Her husband, Lord Mountbatten (Louis), inherits Classiebawn.
1960 Shadow V is built at McCanns’ boatyard in Moneygold from timber felled in Classiebawn Woods. She is delivered to Mullaghmore for sea trials
1960 Unsubstantiated report in UK’s Daily Express alleging a threat from the IRA for flying the Union Jack at Classiebawn
1961 Lord Mountbatten offers Classiebawn Wood to the Minister for Lands, Irish Government
1961 Classiebawn is let to summer visitors
1962 Lord Mountbatten writes two Guide Books to Classiebawn and surrounding area.
1965 Shadow V is suspiciously holed and sinks in Mullaghmore Harbour
1965 Mains water is piped to the castle
1967 At the request of Lord Mountbatten the cabin of Shadow V is rebuilt
1971 Garda security for Lord Mountbatten’s visit is increased from 8 to 12 in view of internment being introduced in Northern Ireland, 3 on duty all the time
1973 Garda security for visit of Lord Mountbatten and his family is increased to 15
1974 Garda security for visit of Lord Mountbatten and his family is increased to 24
1975 Lord Mountbatten offers Classiebawn to the Irish State, rent free. The Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, refuses.
1976 Irish businessman, Hugh Tunney, leases Classiebawn
1979 Lord Mountbatten, Nicholas Knatchbull & Paul Maxwell die aboard Shadow V. Doreen, The Dowager Lady Brabourne dies in Sligo Hospital the following day.
1979 Thomas McMahon is convicted of the murder of Lord Mountbatten
1981 Provisional Sinn Fein protestors hang a banner and the Irish tricolour from a window at Classiebawn in support of Republican hunger strikers
1992 Body of Margaret Perry is found in woods close to Classiebawn. She was murdered in 1991 by her associates who were IRA and Special Branch informers
1995 Incendiary device is discovered at the front door of Classiebawn. It preceeds a visit by Prince Charles to the Republic the next day
1998 Thomas McMahon, convicted of the murder of Lord Mountbatten, is released from prison under terms of the ‘Good Friday’ Agreement
2004 Local residents hold a ceremony at Classiebawn’s gates to commemorate the events of 1979
2015 During an official visit to Ireland, Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, make a private visit to Classiebawn Castle. They are joined by Timothy and Isabella Knatchbull.

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