Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB12/02/002 A

Extent of Listing:
Castle terrace walling and steps

Date of Construction:
1840 - 1859

Address :
Crom Castle Newtownbutler Co. Fermanagh BT92 8AP


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:
Country House

Former Use
Country House

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
H3605 2453

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

A substantial early 19thC Tudor-Gothic style country house beautifully set within Crom estate on Upper Lough Erne. It is constructed in local limestone with sandstone dressings with a striking crenellated tower to the S and E elevations. The W elevation is abutted by a later conservatory; all enclose an inner courtyard. The roof is a composition of numerous pitches, all natural slated with similar over its dormer gables. Chimneys are tall Tudor style ashlar limestone stacks on common plinths in groups of twos, threes and fours, some with octagonal pots. Parapet gutters drain into cast iron down pipes with hoppers. Walls are rock-faced limestone with sandstone dressings, embellished with oak leaf carvings, shields and Gothic quatrefoil panels; the majority of parapet stringcourses are terminated with masked corbels or gargoyles. All windows are largely 2/2 with sandstone transoms and mullions, all panes are 2x3 glazed (unless otherwise stated), a number of which have hood moulds and a few are dummies. Principal elevation faces E and is two storey (+attic and exposed basement) and seven bays wide. The most dominant feature of this elevation is the three-staged crenellated tower forming a port-cochere (see later). Bays 1 and 6 are gabled and project forward, similarly detailed with finial and pole moulded coping to parapet. E elevation Bay 1 has a chamfered stringcourse to basement with smooth sandstone basecourse below, with similar stringcourse between basement and ground floor – all bays are detailed as this apart from bay 3 and 7. Set between each stringcourse to basement are two pairs of 2/4 sliding sashes (all basement windows are as this unless otherwise stated). Above to ground floor are two blind elongated panels. First floor has an oriel window with canted stone roof with decorative cornice; it has a moulded base that rests on an ornately carved apron detailed with oak leaves and blind shield (carried out under supervision of the Edinburgh contractor, Charles McGibbon). The front face of the oriel contains a 2/2 window with 1/1 windows to each cheek. Above to attic is a pair of 1x3 casement windows with hood mould over; gable apex has a blind rectangular niche. Bay 2 has basecourse and stringcourses as before. Basement has a pair of windows to left and a narrow ½ casement window to right. Ground and first floors have a dummy 2/2 window; those to first floor are diminished in height. Below crenellated parapet is a stringcourse. Attic has a dormer window containing a pair of 1x3 casements. Set between bay 1 and 2 is a canted buttress, with stringcourses as before and a chimneystack set perpendicular to ridge. Bay 3 is the three-staged square-in-section port-cochere tower, which rises above parapet level of main block and framed by a four-stage buttress, with a single-stage buttress to centre of E face Each stage is delineated by a stringcourse that to stage 1 is broken by a Gothic quatrefoil panel with blind shield. The front face of this stage has two window openings, above to second stage is an oriel window with moulded base that sweeps downwards and terminated by a winged angel corbel. Oriel contains similar windows to that on bay 1. The head of this oriel window supports a similar window to stage 3 with canted stone roof with decorative cornice. It contains a pair of 2/4 sliding sashes to front face and a 2/4 sash to each cheek; over is a pair of 2/4 sliding sashes with hood mould. The S and N faces of the tower has a Tudor-arched opening with gargoyles at spring of arch level. Breaking stringcourse between first and second stage is a Gothic quatrefoil panel with shield as before. The S face has a narrow 2/2 sliding sash window set to the right of stage 2 with a dummy 1x4 window to centre. Stage 3 has a 4/4 sliding sash window to top right. Set between stages 2 and 3 and rising above parapet level of tower is a three-staged crenellated octagonal turret with moulded sandstone base; the stringcourses of the tower continue across turret. Stages 2 and 3 of the turret have a 1x3 narrow window. The N face of the tower has a 2/2 sliding sash to right of stage 2 and two blind niches to stage 3 – one to bottom left and one to top right. A chimneystack breaks the parapet at this stage. The port-cochere has a vaulted ceiling with foliated bosses and supported by colonettes. Between the two window openings is a cusped, foliated and recessed arabesque panel. The entrance is contained within a sandstone Gothic-opening comprising of a timber door set within Tudor-headed opening with sidelights and transom; in spandrels is an oak leaf. Door is double-leaf with eight panels, accessed by four stone steps with boot scrapper. To either side is a 1/1 window; the upper pane is lancet headed with tracery head. Transom has two lancet-headed, coloured and leaded lights. Bay 4 has two windows to each floor, all equally aligned. Those to basement are as before, with 2/2 windows to ground floor with hood mould. Those to first floor are diminished in height, without hood mould. Bay 5 has two 2/4 casement windows to basement and a 2/2 window to each upper floor, detailed as bay 3. Set between bays 4 and 5 is an advanced chimneystack, rising above parapet level, with an additional chimney to ridge with stone skew. Bay 6 is gabled and has two pairs of 2/2 windows to basement. Ground floor has two small 2/4 casement windows. First floor has an oriel window with moulded base with decorative oak carving (set between windows below to ground floor), canted stone roof with decorative cornice. Each face has a 1/1 window, and above to attic is a 4/4 sliding sash window with hood mould; apex has rectangular blind niche. Set between bay 5 and 6 is an octagonal chimneystack. The exposed left cheek of bay 6 is blank and the right cheek is abutted by a three-staged, square-in-section and crenallated turret. Bay 7 is lower than main block with central gable breaking parapet. Basement has a pair of 2/2 sliding sashes to left and a 2/4 sash to right; both with hood moulds. Ground floor has two pairs of 4/4 sliding sashes. To centre of first floor is a small oriel window with 1/1 window to either side each containing 3x2 glazed panes. The oriel has a 2/2 window, the upper panes are 2x2 and lower panes are 2x3. To central gable is a blind shield. The right end of this bay is abutted by a crenellated three-staged, octagonal turret; punctuated with various arrow loop openings. S elevation The S elevation overlooks the Deer Park, and is symmetrical, two-storey (+attic) and seven-bays wide. Bays 2 and 6 are gabled, and project slightly with finial. The most dominant feature of this elevation is the four-staged crenellated tower to bay 4. Bays 1 and 6 are gabled and project forward, similarly detailed with finial and pole moulded coping to parapet. Bay 1 has a dummy window to each floor that to the ground floor is 2/2 with hood mould, and that to first floor is a 1/1 window. Bay 2 and 6 have a 5x2 to each floor with 1/1 to each cheek, those to ground floor are plainly glazed. Above to gable apex is a blind niche. Bay 3 has a 2/2 dummy window to left and a 1/1 to right; both with hood moulds. First floor has a 1/1 window. Bay 4 is the crenellated four-staged clock tower, which is flanked by octagonal turrets, which rise above the parapet level. Each stage is delineated by a stringcourse, which continues across each turret; the latter have a number of arrow loop openings. Stage 1-3 have a crenellated canted bay window with moulded string course below, all contain 2/2 windows to front face with 1/1 cheeks; those to stage 1 and 2 are plainly glazed and those to stage 3 are diminished in height. Stage 4 has two blind elongated niches to either side and a Gothic quatrefoil panel with blind shield to centre. Above is a sandstone frieze set below parapet level consisting of an arcade of 7 Gothic arches with bulbous corbels. The exposed W face of the tower has a 1/1 window set to right of stage 3. Stage 4 has a 2/2 window to left and a pair of 4/4 sliding sashes with hood mould to right. The N face of tower has two tall chimneys, which rise above parapet, set behind turrets to S face creating battlements. Stage 4 has a pair of 2x3 windows with hood mould and a square clock set below parapet. The exposed E face of tower has a pair of 4/4 sliding sashes to stage 4. Bay 5 has a Tudor-arched opening to left containing a 3/3 timber door accessed by three stone steps with boot scrapper. Above is 2x3 window with hood mould. To its right is a 2/2 window with hood mould and above to first floor is a pair of 1/1 windows. Bay 6 is detailed as bay 2. Bay 7 is as bay 1 with dummy window to first floor only. W elevation The W elevation is two bays wide with a chimneystack to left (N) gable and one to rear pitch. The left gable is abutted by a two-storey/ three bay return, detailed as main block (see later). The right bay of main block is gabled with a canted bay window to each floor. The front face contains 3/3 windows with a 1/1 window to each cheek; those to ground floor are plainly glazed and those to first floor are diminished in height. Above to attic gable is a 1x4 window. Left bay is three windows wide; all are 2/2 and equally aligned. Those to ground floor are plainly glazed with hood moulds and those to first floor are diminished in height. The return is lower than main block and is three-bays wide; set between each bay is an advanced chimneystack rising above crenellated parapet. Left end gable is abutted by a later conservatory/ swimming pool (see later); on party wall with return is a chimney. Bay 1 has a 2/2 window to each floor that to ground floor is plainly glazed. Bay 2 has two windows to each floor, that to left is 2/2 and that to right is 3/3. Bay 3 is the widest and all ground floor windows have hood moulds, from left is a 2/2 window, a Tudor-headed timber door (as that to S elevation) with two-paned transom over, a narrow 2/2 sliding sash window, and a canted bay window to right-end. The canted bay contains a 2/2 to front face and 1/1 to each cheek with stone roof with small crenellated parapet. First floor has a 3/3 window to each end and a narrow 2/2 window to centre. Conservatory/swimming pool (added c1838) is single-storey and ‘L’ shaped with pitched artificial slate roof with skylights to ridge and a small crenellated parapet; walls are stone. The W face has four shallow Tudor-headed windows, each contain pairs of 2x6 panes with two-paned transom over; second from left is a pair of French windows. Set between each is a two-staged buttress. Its S face has five similar window openings with a pair of French windows, third from left. It is abutted to left-end by an octagonal conservatory with conical glazed roof with finial and walls detailed as before. W and S elevations have a slightly canted window containing windows as before with lancet-headed 1x6 cheeks. N face of conservatory is constructed in limestone rubble; it is blank and abutted by a boiler house (of no interest). The E face of the swimming pool is two-storey and has a projecting left-end. Ground floor has two arched openings, that to the right has a t+g sheeted door. First floor has a pair of 2x3 windows with hood mould; the exposed right cheek is blank. From left, the right section has a Tudor-headed t+g sheeted door, a dummy 6x4 window, and a 2x4 window above to first floor. To its right is a three-staged buttress, a canted bay with stone roof containing 3x4 dummy window; blank cheeks. Above to first floor is a 2x4 window. To extreme right-end is a four-staged square-in-section turret with stringcourse between each stage and various arrow loop openings. Its end (N) gable is abutted by a reconstituted, rock-faced, stone garage with a pair of t+g sheeted doors to E face; all other walls are blank. N elevation The N elevation is three-storey/ two bay and abutted to right by a two-storey return, detailed as main block. The left bay of the main block projects and has an opening to each floor, that to ground floor is 2x3 casement window, a blind rectangular niche to first floor and a 1x3 window to second floor. The exposed right cheek is blank. The right bay has two 2x3 windows to ground floor and a 1/1 sliding sash window to first and second floor (not aligned). The return has a tall ashlar sandstone chimney to left-end. To ground floor centre is a door (as W elevation), to either side are two windows; all are geometrically glazed. Set between each is a single-staged buttress. First floor has four 2/4windows, larger than those below. Above door is a blind niche containing a shield. It is abutted to right by the return to W elevation (see before) and set at right angles with façade of return is the E elevation of the conservatory/swimming pool. The courtyard was not inspected. Estate context Crom estate is a large informally landscaped demesne, by W.S.Gilpin (c1838) outside Newtownbutler, containing a number of estate related structures and now in the stewardship of the National Trust. It is accessed and bound to the E by Doohat Td, where the E gate lodge (HB12/02/16) is sited. Following a winding driveway through the maturely planted demesne to the W one meets Crom Castle, the laneway then continues westwards past the stableyards (HB12/02/003) and riding school (HB12/02/004). Here the drive splits to the N, leading to the turf house (HB12/02/005) or continues S to the Summer House and old Boat House (HB12/02/006 and HB12/02/007) respectively. A bridge (HB12/02/008) provides access across the lough to the walled garden (HB12/02/11), gardener’s bothy (HB12/02/011B), Inisherk Lodge (HB12/02/012) and Bridge Cottage (HB12/02/010). On entry into the estate the driveway also splits to the S providing access to the farmyard (HB12/02/015) and the Old castle (HB12/02/013). A number of other estate related structures such as Crichton Tower and Trinity Church are yet to be surveyed for the second resurvey and belong to HB12/08.


Hague, William Blore, Edward Sudden, George Murray, William George

Historical Information

John Crichton, third Earl of Erne, began the construction of this castle in 1831, having been bequeathed £20,000 by his grandfather John Crichton, first Earl of Erne, who died in 1828. The original castle (HB12/02/013) had burned down in 1764, forcing the family to live at Knockballymore House, near Clones. The building was designed by Edward Blore, an English architect, and was executed initially by James Henry of Dublin, and then by Charles McGibbon of Edinburgh. The work was completed in 1838 at a cost of almost £30,000. The landscaped surrounds were the work of the English landscaper W.S. Gilpin. Unfortunately the house was accidentally burned down in 1841. Crichton immediately engaged the Dublin architect George Sudden to supervise its rebuilding to Blore’s original specifications. Sudden incorporated some minor changes, including the linking of the conservatory (at the NW corner) with the main block. This was completed in 1844 at a cost of £15,000. In 1851, the octagonal pavilion was added to the conservatory. In 1861 W.G. Murray, designer of Newtownbutler railway station (HB12/02/039), was engaged to add a storey on to the north side of the east wing (to accommodate a housemaid’s sitting room and two bedrooms). Between 1873 and 1880, William Hague supervised the addition of a storey to the north wing (for four bedrooms and a bathroom). He also carried out some internal modifications to this wing to create a billiard room. The fourth Earl, John Henry Crichton, (who succeeded his father in 1885) made many internal changes in the period 1885-86. The swimming pool was created within the conservatory in the 1960s. In 1979-81, Nicholas Johnston supervised some internal modifications to the north wing. Part of the demesne was sold to the Dept of the Environment in 1980. The National Trust acquired the remainder of the property in 1987, although the present Earl retains the castle which he still inhabits. Secondary sources: 1. Terence Reeves-Smyth, Crom Castle Demesne (National Trust, 1990). 2. G. Jackson-Stops, ‘Crom Castle, Co Fermanagh’, Country Life 26 May and 2 June 1988.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form E. Spatial Organisation I. Quality and survival of Interior J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

V. Authorship W. Northern Ireland/International Interest X. Local Interest


A substanital Tudor-Gothic castellated mansion built c1829 to the designs of Edward Blore. It is finely integrated into the natural landscape with limestone towers, turrets, battlements and gables rising among the maturely planted woodland in true picturesque style. Along with the other estate related structures it forms an important and coherent group reflecting the C19th social climate.

General Comments

This record was previously numbered HB12/02/002.

Date of Survey

Wednesday, January 10, 2001