Clonhugh or Clanhugh signifies the race or descendants of Aedh or Hugh. A mere hunting lodge when owned by the Forbes family, according to Dease in his history of the Westmeath Hunt, it was extended to a charming residence with excellent stabling and stud farm by Lord Greville M.P. for Westmeath from 1865 to 1874.
Colonel F.S. Greville had Clonhugh House built by Francis Nulty to the design of William Caldbeck in 1867.
This late 18th C. house was built by the Murray family who lived on the eastern shore of Lough Owel from the mid 1600s. A Castle once stood between the house and the lake. The present house was probably built c 1780 and was remodled c 1820.
Lord De Blaqueire Secretary of State from 1772 to 1777 purchased Portloman and built Portloman House. At some time between the 1807 and 1810 the Duke of Richmond visited Portloman for Pattern Day which was an annual celebration held on the Portloman Demesne on the 1st Sunday in August.
This was an important event and attracted great crowds. The principal attraction was the swimming of horses in the lake. Other happenings were the settlement of the preliminaries of a marriage contract or to meet and fight the people of an adjacent barony or to settle grievances.
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