History of Belleek
Belleek Castle was built between 1825 and 1831, on the site of a medieval abbey, one of four along the River Moy. Belleek was commissioned by Sir Arthur Francis Knox-Gore. The manor house was designed by the prolific architect John Benjamin Keanes, and the neo-gothic architecture met the taste of the time, when medieval styles became fashionable. The Knox-Gores lived in Belleek until the early 1940’s.
Marshall Doran, a merchant navy officer and an avid collector of fossils and medieval armour, acquired the run down property in 1961, restored it and opened it as a hotel in 1970. Some of the rooms are in 19th style, whilst most of the interior design has a medieval and nautical touch. Marshall, being quite a craftsman, did a lot of the work himself, assisted by John Mullen, and supervised the restoration expertly. Today, the Castle is managed by Marshall’s son Paul Doran and Ms. Maya Nikolaeva.
The Marshall Doran Collection
Belleek Castle & The Marshall Doran Collection: A unique Museum Experience in Ballina
The Belleek Castle Tour includes an explanation of the origins of the Castle and the history of its former owners, the Knox-Gore family, the Earls of Arran.
You will see private dining rooms, decorated in opulent romantic style, as well as the Medieval Banquet Hall, the Spanish Armada Bar and the Tween Deck.
The highlight of the tour will be The Marshall Doran Collection, which is one of the finest collections of arms and armour, fossils and antiques in Ireland. You will also see the Grace O’Malley room and the last wolf shot in Connaught.
For more information, simply ring +353 96 22400. You may also check our Facebook Page for updates and Trip Advisor for reviews.
Belleek Castle Museum is the holder of the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.
Tours are available 11am, 2pm & 4pm daily.
We are also happy to cater for you any time by appointment!
In the busy summer season, we strongly advice to book your tour in advance!
Family ticket €30
(Group & family discounts are available )
We also take school tours and educational programs for children, by appointment only.
Please inquire to our curator Stephen via curator@belleekCastle.eu '
Reviewed on Tripadvisor october 2018
A Hidden Treasure
I wasn't sure what to expect on a visit to Belleek Caste, organised by friends. The history of the castle and its various owners is fascinating. Even more fascinating is the varied range of artifacts and fossils collected by Marshall Doran, the Englishman who purchased the castle in 1961 and went on to restore it. Now a luxury hotel and popular wedding venue the basement of the castle has rooms devoted to ancient weapons and armour, fossils and the bed of Graine O'Malley. Marshall Dolan collected a wide variety of items and from a range of carved wooden furnishings created a most attractive dining room that looks as if it once graced an old sailing ship.
Reviewed on Tripadvisor 13th October 2018
Awesome Castle, Museum & Food
My wife in I were in Ballina on a rainy day and wondered what to do. We discovered the Belleck Castle and had a totally amazing day. The museum was fascinating, the hotel was beautiful and the restaurant next door was really good. Great day!
Reviewed On Tripadvisor 15th September 2018
My husband and I took a tour of the castle today and enjoyed every minute. Our tour guide Elizabeth was very friendly and entertained us throughout with her great knowledge of the history of the patrons and the building. The private collection was amazing and my husband took great joy in being able to handle some of the weapons. Worth every cent of the ten euro entry. We also enjoyed a lovely walk through the forest down to the river. We will definitely come back and bring our relations and friends when they visit us from the UK. Thank you Elizabeth for showing us around the beautiful Belleek Castle
Reviewed on Tripadvisor 11th June 2018
A MUST DO
TAKE THE MUSEUM TOUR. This museum has such a mixture of historical features including originals from the building construction, to imported and redesigned items from the eclectic prior owner (Duran, whose son now owns/runs it). There's an old statue from a local sunken Spanish Armada ship (dating in the 1500's), an imported fireplace from the 1400's, and fossils from tens of thousands of years ago. Truly fascinating. And who doesn't want to pretend to stab their husband with an authentic broad sword? FANTASTIC FIND!