Irish castles

Adare – The time-worn remains of this Anglo-Norman fortress on the banks of the River Maigue may be counted among the most impressive castles in Ireland.
Athlumny – Tower houses often provided the nucleus for the unfortified country seats that began to emerge in Ireland from the seventeenth century.
Aughnanure – The “ferocious O’Flaherties”, masters of the whole territory of west Connaught, built this fine castle in the early sixteenth century.
Ballylee – The poet W. B. Yeats was so enchanted with this sixteenth-century tower house beside the Cloon River that he purchased the property in 1916 and restored it.
Ballymoon – Like so many Irish castles, Ballymoon has no recorded history, but on architectural grounds it must have been built c.1290-1310.
Ballynahow – There is something rather attractive about round tower houses, but sadly only a relatively small number were built, mostly in Munster.
historic irish castle Ballymote – Ballymote, begun in 1300, was the last and the mightiest of the Norman castles in Connaught.
Carrigaholt – Set on the verge of a cliff overlooking the Shannon Estuary.
Carlow – This great keep was formerly one of the most impressive Norman castles in Ireland.
Carrickfergus – The mighty stronghold of Carrickfergus, once the centre of Anglo-Norman power in Ulster.
Cloughouthter – Tucked away in a remote corner of the Erne River system, on a tiny island in Lough Oughter, stands the ruined circular tower of Cloughoughter.
Conna – Resembling some sort of medieval skyscraper, this captivating tower house rises about 85 feet from a great limestone bluff.
Carrigafoyle – Carrigafoyle has had a stormy history and, although wrecked by a series of bloody sieges.
Carrick-on-Suir – This castle of the Butlers – Earls and later Dukes of Ormonde.
Dublin – Fragments are all that remain of the great medieval fortress that once served as a symbol of Royal authority in Ireland and the centre of administration.
Dundrum – One of Ulster’s most evocative medieval ruins, Dundrum Castle was founded by the legendary Norman adventurer John de Courcy.
Dunluce – Like something out of a Tolkien fantasy, the ruins of Dunluce Castle have a desolate, awe-inspiring grandeur.
Dunsoghly – Considering the enormous number of castles in Ireland, it is perhaps surprising that only Dunsoghly has retained its original medieval trussed roof.
Gleninagh – Looking down from a hillside across the wide expanse of Galway Bay.
Glinsk – Glinsk was gutted by fire at an early stage and survives as an exceptionally well-preserved ruin.
Greencastle – The fortress is impressive, though its dramatic setting at the mouth of Carlingford Lough adds much to its appeal.
Kilkenny – Superbly set above a crossing of the River Nore.
Lemanagh – The magnificent ruins of the great O’Brien stronghold of Lemaneagh stand on the southern fringe of that limestone wilderness known as the Burren.
Mallow – The old Desmond fortress on the Blackwater River at Mallow was granted in 1584 to Sir Thomas Norreys.
Monea – Few castle ruins so readily engage the imagination as the picturesquely sited Monea.
Newtown – Like a rocket on its launch-pad, this unusual sixteenth century tower house takes the form of a cylinder impaled upon a pyramid.
Old Crom – Romantic ensemble of ruins and sham ruins set in exquisite parkland on the shores of Lough Erne.
Rathmacknee – Many Irish castles have lost their parapets during the course of time, but those at Rathmacknee are fully intact.
Ross – There are few castles anywhere in Ireland that can boast such a dream-like enchanted setting.
Slade – The picturesque little harbour of Slade is dominated by the brown rubble walls and striking merlons of this castle.
Swords – Swords Castle was built as the manorial residence of the Archbishops of Dublin around 1200 or a little later.
Trim – Trim Castle is the largest and one of the most important Norman military constructions in Ireland.
Tully – Ireland is full of roofless ruins, but few have had such a tragically brief history as the beautifully sited Plantation castle of Tully.


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