Johnstown Castle estate has been home to two prominent Wexford families. The first owners were the Esmondes; a Norman family who settled in the county in the 1170s. They constructed the tower houses at Johnstown and Rathlannon during the 15th or 16th century. During the Cromwellian period of 1640s the estate was confiscated and changed hands several times before being acquired by John Grogan in 1692, whose descendents remained at Johnstown up until 1945. In this year Maurice Victor Lakin presented Johnstown Castle estate as a gift to the Nation.