Dún Éigse/The Lodge

Dún Éigse (a place of learning, culture  and poetry) was built by the Annesley Estate in the 19th century, and at the turn of the millennium planning began to develop the building for  community use. A range of organisations were involved including Newcastle CCÉ,  Castlewellan Regeneration, Feis an Dúin, the Gaelic League, Annsborough Pipe Band and  Castlewellan Accordion Orchestra. Comhaltas made a major contribution to this enterprise through leading members Éamon Rodgers, Jimmy Cowan, Nicholas McCrickard and Brendan Scullion.


The refurbishment work was sponsored by the Department for Social Development, International Fund for Ireland, the Rural Development Council and Down District Council.

Dún Éigse was officially opened on 4th April 2008. A unique element has been the blend of cultural organisations, business enterprises and community functions under one roof: financial sustainability has been maximised by letting out seven office spaces.

Gairdín an Dóchais (the Garden of Hope) is bounded by a famine wall and incorporates a stone dated 1847 – when An Gorta Mór/The Great Famine was at its worst – set in the centre of the rear wall.