Castle Ellen was named after a near by ruin, the house was built in the mid 14th century and housed at least four generations of Lamberts, after the family brought the land they built the present house in 1810. Sold to the land commission in 1923 by Capt. Walter Peter Lambert, it is today in private hands having been purchased in 1974 by Mr. Michael Keaney in an advanced state of disrepair. Michael has spent many years restoring parts of the house and grounds and today it is part time guest house.
Castle Ellen's most famous resident must be Sir Edward Carson who spent most of his school holidays here with his mother Isabella Lambert. Sir Edward is a very important figure in both Irish and British politics, being heavily involved in events in Ireland between 1910 and 1921. Often portrayed as the heroic embodiment of the militant unionist spirit, he became disillusioned with politics saying “I fought to keep Ulster part of the United Kingdom, but Stormont is turning her into a second-class Dominion". As a lawyer he was also involved in many notable cases prosecuting Severin Klosowski (later named George Chapman) for he murder of some of his wives (Chapman is thought by many to have been ‘Jack the Ripper’) and of course ‘Oscar Wilde’ trial.
Various social events are also held at Castle Ellen, such as the annual New Year’s Eve Ball and a military ball on St Patrick’s Day. Summer schools on related historical matters have also taken place at the house. The Lambert Symposium (which you can read about in the 'The Book' menu option above) explored the history of the Lambert family and their links with the area, took place here in June 1999. At the same event the Lambert Book was launched and visitors were allowed to wander the ground and enjoy great food and hospitality from out host Michael Keaney (see images below).