The Nugent family name has Norman origins and is widespread in counties Cork and Westmeath. The man who brought the name to Ireland was Hugh de Nugent, who arrived with the Anglo-Norman invasion in the 12th century. His family name came from the town of Nugent-le-Rotrou, near Chartres in France.
Two castles in Co. Westmeath had connections with the Nugents. Ballinlough Castle, at Clonellan, was saved from destruction in the 1930s by Sir Hugh Nugent and is still in Nugent occupation, while Delvin Castle, in the same county, was a Nugent stronghold.