Castle Ruins and Ancient Yews

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The Old Castle and Yew Trees lie at the heart of our wonderful demesne here at Crom. They are a must see for visitors, and embody the history, beauty and nature of the estate.

The Old Castle at Crom was built in the early 17th-century by a Scottish planter, Michael Balfour. The Castle and the Estate passed to the Crichton family in 1655 when Abraham Crichton married the daughter of the previous tenant, the Bishop of Clogher. The castle survived two sieges by the Jacobites in 1689, but accidentally burnt down in 1764. According to a tradition, the fire took place when Abraham Crichton was returning in his boat from a housewarming party at Florence Court. Crichton saw a worrying glow in the sky to the south, and returned home to find his castle gutted. In the 19th-century, additional walls and towers were added to the ruins of the Old Castle for romantic effect. Today, the Old Castle ruins are a secluded monument.

Close to the Old Castle ruins are Crom’s famous Yew Trees. They are a conjoined pair of a male and female English yew, with a combined circumference of 377 feet (115m) and a diameter of 115 feet (35m). The larger, older female yew is of a considerable age, although how old exactly has been the subject of debate for many years. The earliest known reference to the tree is from 1739, when it was described as an already venerable tree. The male tree is much younger, and was most likely planted in the 19th-century.

The Crom Yews were the only trees in Northern Ireland to be featured on the list of the 50 Greatest British Trees drawn up by the Tree Council to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.