Killua Castle Ground & Deer Park
The former residence of the Chapman family with links to T.E. Lawrence and Sir Walter Raleigh. The existing house was built, to replace a previous structure, as a Georgian house in the 1780's by Sir Benjamin Chapman. His house was built to plans by Thomas Cooley known for his works at the Royal Exchange, Dublin. Sir Thomas Chapman, younger brother of Sir Benjamin castellated the house starting in 1812 and finishing works by 1826. James Shiel was involved as architect. The Chapmans lived in Killua Castle until 1919. The property was subsequently sold and transformed into a golf club by William Hackett. After his death in 1942, the house was sold again and its roof was removed in 1944. Killua became an ivy cladded ruin until its restoration started in 2000.
The Chapmans received Killua for services rendered as part of Cromwell's army. However, by the time Sir Thomas castellated his brother's Georgian pile, a better and more romantic story was desirable. The Chapmans descended from Sir Walter Raleigh's maternal line, Champerowne. In fact, they had moved from Leicestershire to Ireland (Co. Kerry) through Raleigh's patronage. It only took a small flight of fancy to claim that Killua also came to be theirs through Sir Walter and not only that, that he had planted the first potato ever in Ireland in the site now marked by the Raleigh Obelisk. Alas, Raleigh probably never set foot in Killua and the potato had been introduced much earlier to Ireland, most likely, by Spanish sailors.
Visit this historic and beautiful castle to learn more about its fascinating history and explore its scenic grounds.