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BUILT  HERITAGE - Town and Villages - Menlough (Menlo)

Menlo is a village and townland situated on the eastern shore of the River Corrib between the city and the lake. The Irish version of the name, Mionloch means a small lake.

The ruins of Menlo Castle, the home of Valentine Blake, are located here. The novelist Walter Macken had a house in Menlo Village. Menlo is in the parish of Castlegar and is a Gaeltacht to the present day. Tomás Laighléis, the famous seanchai was a native of Menlo.

Menlo was the venue for many regattas, May Day celebrations and tea parties. After the first Corrib drainage scheme in 1848-1852, the shallow part of the river upstream from the Castle was deepened and when the Corrib Rowing Club opened its doors in 1864, races and regattas were held along the river near the castle. Such was the importance of the Menlo regatta that workers got time off work to attend it. Menlo had it very rowing club, the Emmett Rowing Club which won the 1929 Blue Riband of Irish rowing at Galway.

A group of emmigrants from Menlo including Dennis J. Oliver and D.C. McGlynn settled near San Francisco and gave the name Menlo Park to their settlement. Today Menlo Park is an affluent city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City to the west. Menlo Park is one of the most educated cities in the state of California and the United States, with nearly 70% of its residents having earned an advanced degree. Menlo Park had 32,026 inhabitants according to the 2010 United States Census. In addition, Menlo Park was ranked in the top 15 US cities in CNN's "Best Places for the Rich and Single" to live.

There was a great fire in Menlo Castle on the morning of Tuesday 26th July 2010 and only the bare walls were left standing, much as they are today. Sir Valentine’s eldest daugther Ellen who was an invalid and a servant Miss Early were lost in the fire. In addition many valuable pictures and family heirlooms were lost in the blaze. Maurice Semple in his book ‘Reflections on Lough Corrib’ has a detailed description of the fire and its aftermath. There are also pictures of the original impressive castle in the book.