During the 18th century large manor houses like this one were known as ‘Castles’. This house was built by Colonel George Vaughan between 1716-18 and is the earliest and most important of the big houses in Inishowen. It is located near the mouth of the Crana River on a site next to an earlier castle called ‘O’Doherty’s Keep’. The Keep was just one of a network of castles built by the O’Doherty clan to defend the Inishowen Peninsula. The Keep and the lands here were seized in 1608 by Sir Arthur Chichester after Sir Cahir O’Doherty led a rebellion and was killed. Chichester then leased it to an Englishman called Henry Vaughan, whose grandson was Colonel George Vaughan. George built the house and moved the town to its present location in 1718 where he founded the current main street and built the nearby 6 arched Castle Bridge across the River Crana. During the 1798 Rebellion, Theobald Wolfe Tone was held here when he was captured off the coast of Donegal on a French ship. On 18 May 1812, Isaac Todd bought the entire town of Buncrana and the surrounding townlands at the Court of Chancery on behalf of the trustees of the Marquess of Donegall. His nephews inherited the castles, and they later became known as the Thornton-Todds. The castle remains as a private home today. In the forecourt there is a memorial rock in honour of Sir Cahir O’Doherty, and a plaque dedicated to Wolfe Tone.

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