Curraghchase House was built in 1657 by Vere Hunt, an officer in Cromwell’s army, and remained the home of the De Vere family for over 300 years. The famous poet Aubrey Thomas De Vere was born at Curraghchase in 1814 and there are many mementos throughout the park, marking where he sat to contemplate many of his famous poems. The house was destroyed by fire in 1941 and only the outer walls remain today.
Curraghchase Estate was acquired in 1957 by the Irish Forestry Division and established as a National Forest Park and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in the 1970s suitable for families, walkers, and outdoor pursuits.
Overall the park has 313 hectares ( 775 acres approx.) of mixed woodland with 8km of multi-purpose way-marked trails. The trails can vary from multi-access trails suitable for family and wheelchair users to the longer Curragh and Glenisca Trails suitable for those looking for more demanding walking and cycling.
Large scale tree planting on the estate took place in the 19th century. The woodlands are a mix of deciduous and coniferous varieties of oak, sycamore, hornbeam, Scots Pine, beech, ash and hazel.
Only the outer walls of the mansion remain today. However, this has not deterred the Lesser Horseshoe Bat from making the cellars of the house its preferred hibernation site. It is the largest known site in Co. Limerick for this protected bat species.