The original Knockdrin was a Norman Castle largely destroyed by fire. Its late 18th Century successor was designed and further enlarged in an imposing Gothic Revival style by James Shiel for Sir Richard Levinge, 6th Bt and Lord Lieutenant of Westmeath, around 1830. The Levinges came to Ireland with the Williamites in the late 17th Century. The first Sir Richard Levinge was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland and a member of the Lords Commissioners, who were appointed by the crown to settle all the land questions which had arisen in Ireland after the Cromwellian conquest, the Restoration and the Williamite Wars. Sir Richard took advantage of his position to purchase Knockdrin Estate from the Tuites, who were the Norman-Irish owners up to that time.