A Little Social & Architectural History
Longueville’s beautiful view of the Blackwater Valley belies a turbulent history. The house was built in 1720 by the Longfield family, who always maintained they were of French extraction and not Cromwellians. Proprietor William O’Callaghan is a descendant of original owner Donough O'Callaghan. Donough fought beside the Catholics after the collapse of the 1641 Rebellion and forfeited the land to Cromwell. At this time, when Richard Longfield was created Baron Longueville in 1795, the family changed the name to Longueville. Richard was later rewarded with a Viscountcy, receiving a large sum of money as compensation for losing his Parliamentary seat. He’s believed to have used it to add two wings, stone parapets and a pillared porch. Architecturally Longueville is typically late Georgian, with ornate Italian-designed ceilings, marble dining-room mantelpiece featuring a relief of Neptune in his chariot, rare, inlaid mahogany doors, and an unusual, full-height staircase. On the East side, you’ll find a fine Victorian conservatory of curved ironwork added in 1866 by Richard Turner, the greatest ironmaster and designer of glasshouses of the Victorian era. Today Longueville is back in the hands of the O'Callaghan clan whose forebears were originally deprived of it by Cromwell in 1650. Longueville comes complete with tree plantations that resemble the battle lines at Waterloo – French on one side, English on the other. Which side has the healthier trees? ....You decide.
In 1969 Michael O'Callaghan and his wife Jane first opened Longueville's doors to the public as a simple Bed & Breakfast. Michael being a farmer oversaw the 500 acre farm surrounding Longueville by day and at night helped serve wines in the restaurant. In the meantime Jane opened The Presidents' Restaurant at Longueville in the early 1970's. Together Michael and Jane developed a huge reputation both nationally and internationally for excellent food and warm hospitality. They had five children together with their eldest son William taking over the reigns from his parents. Sadly Michael passed away in 2010. Jane is still very much involved in Longueville. It’s a place of history, yet Longueville has moved with the times. Maintaining and modernising the house has been a labour of love for third-generation owners William O’Callaghan and his wife Aisling, your hosts.
The couple met while students of Hotel Management & Business Studies at DIT Cathal Brugha Street in the late 1980's. Both worked in small, boutique hotel properties in the UK, France and Ireland before settling down in 1993. They have two children, Elena and Michael who attend school locally. In addition to the welcoming committee in Longueville there are five dogs, two ponies, a flock of sheep, pigs galore and laying hens!