History of Drimnagh Castle and Drimnagh Castle Primary School


  • When Rudolph 1, the founder of the Hapsburg Dynasty, came to the throne in Germany in 1273 and when the Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299 Drimnagh Castle was already a home.
  • The first state recorded owner of Drimnagh Castle was Hugh de Barnewall who was of an Anglo-Norman family and came to Ireland in 1212 at the invitation of King John.

  • The Barnewall family lived in Drimnagh Castle until the early 17th.century when it came into the care of Sir Adam Loftus who occupied it until his appointment as Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1619.

  • From then until 1951 it was in continuous occupation, the Hatch family being the last to live there.

  • It was acquired by the Christian Brothers in 1953.

  • The school has been functioning since 1954.

  • The old ballroom of the castle was converted into two classrooms one being equipped as a science lab. A nissen hut acted as another classroom.

  • So there it stands, Drimnagh Castle, the only moated castle in Ireland, cheek by jowl with our school – the old and the young – history and potential all together on what was known as An (Fearann) Druimneach -“the ridged land”.

  • The Norman ancestry of the Barnewall family is remembered in the heraldic shield of the family coat of arms which is inlaid with the fleur- de- lis, the royal arms of France. For their motto they chose “Malo mori quam foedari” – “Death rather than dishonour” an ideal now incorporated into the school crest.