Castles & Tower Houses 1350 – 1850 ad

Castles & Tower Houses 1350 – 1850 ad

Clonmines Medieval Borough, Wellington Bridge. co.Wexford c.13th-16th centuries

This interesting site is one of the best preserved and much over-looked medieval towns in Ireland. Clonmines probably began it's life as a Norman settlement established by William Marshall in the 13th century as an [...]

Roscrea Castle 1281 & Damer House 1730, Rosscrea. co.Tipperary

The original motte and bailey fortification on this site was built in 1213 and was known as King John's Castle. It was not until 1281 that the castle was built with stone under the direction [...]

Cahir Castle, Cahir. co.Tipperary 1142

Cahir Castle is one of Ireland's largest castles and is strategically located on an island on the River Suir. The word Cahir in Irish actually means 'stone fort' and records show it was built in 1142 [...]

Ross Castle, Killarney. co.Kerry 1480

Ross Castle is located in a spectacular location on Ross Island by the shores of Lough Leane. It was built sometime in the late 15th century by the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains and is surrounded by a [...]

Clonyn Castle, Delvin. co.Westmeath 1876

Sir Gilbert de Nugent, originally from the Nogent-le-Rotrou area in France, came to Ireland with his brother-in-law Hugh de Lacy in 1171. He was granted the title Baron of Delvin within the Lordship of Meath. [...]

Delvin Castle, Delvin. co.Westmeath c.1310

Located in the middle of Delvin village are the remains of Delvin Castle. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers at each corner, [...]

Ballinafad Castle, Ballinafad. co.Sligo 1590

Ballinafad Castle was built in 1590 and is also known as the 'Castle of the Curlews'. It has had a turbulent history due to it's strategic location that controlled the Red Earl's Road through the [...]

Athcarne Castle, Balrath. co.Meath 1590

This foreboding looking building is Athcarne Castle. It was built for William Bathe in 1590. The Bathe family produced a number of well known legal and political personalities around the 16th and 17th century. It [...]

O’Doherty’s Keep, Buncrana. co. Donegal c.1300? (Bun Cranncha-‘foot of the River Crana’)

This interesting little building is located in Buncrana on the estuary of the Crana River and is locally  known as 'O'Doherty's Keep'. The structure resembles a fortified tower house from the 15th century but recent [...]

Leixlip Castle, Leixlip. co.Kildare 1172

Leixlip Castle was built in 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, one year after the Norman Invasion of Ireland. It is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited buildings in Ireland. Leixlip means 'salmon [...]

Barberstown Castle, Straffan. co.Kildare c.1500 on earlier Norman site

The original castle on this site was built by Nicholas Barby in 1288 on land owned by the Norman Fitzgerald family. Over the next 800 years it has passed into the ownership of 37 different [...]

White’s Castle, Athy. co.Kildare 1417

White's Castle was built in 1417 by Sir John Talbot, Viceroy of Ireland, to protect the inhabitants of Athy from the 'wild Irish'. This location on the banks of the River Barrow has been an [...]

Puck’s Castle, Rathmichael. co. Dublin c.1520

These are the ruins of Puck's Castle, located in south county Dublin. Many of these structures were built around Dublin between 1400 and 1550 to protect the 'Pale' from the 'wild Irish'. Other similar structures [...]

Narrow Water Castle, Warrenpoint. co.Down 1560

Narrow Water Castle is one of the best preserved 16th-century tower houses in Ireland. This was originally the strategic site of a keep built by Hugh de Lacy in 1212 to prevent river-borne attacks on [...]

Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh. co. Dublin – 1240 (much altered over the years)

Drimnagh Castle, located in south Dublin is one of a few moated castles in Ireland. The original castle here was built around 1240 by a Norman Knight called Hugo de Berneval whose family name was [...]

Monkstown Castle, Monkstown. co.Dublin c.1450

The first castle here was built by the Cistercian Monks of St Mary’s Abbey at the centre of a large farm between the 14th and 15th centuries. This area was at the border of the [...]

Slade Castle, Slade. co.Wexford. c.1470

Slade castle is located in the picturesque fishing village of Slade on the Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford. The original fort was built by the Laffin family in the late 1400s who continued to develop [...]

Enniskillen Castle, Enniskillen. co. Fermanagh c.15th century

The original castle built at this strategic location on lough Erne was built in the late 1400's by Hugh 'The Hospitable' Maguire. Over the years it has been fought over, captured and retaken by the O’Donnells, [...]

Donegal Castle, Donegal Town. co.Donegal -1474

Donegal Castle was built by Hugh Roe O'Donnell in 1474 and is regarded as one of the finest and strongest Gaelic castles in Ireland. It consists of a 15th-century rectangular keep with a Jacobean style [...]

Monea Castle, Monea. co.Fermanagh – 1618

Monea Castle was built in 1618 by Rev. Malcom Hamilton and is one of the best preserved Scottish styled plantation castles in Northern Ireland. It's two massive semi-cylindrical towers sit on either side of the [...]

Tully Castle, Derrygonnelly. co.Fermanagh -1612

Tully Castle was built in 1612 for a Scottish planter called sir John Hume and has a bloody history. It is a fortified tower house with 4 rectangular corner towers and is located on a [...]

Buncrana Castle, Buncrana. co.Donegal 1718 (Bun Cranncha-‘foot of the River Crana’)

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 [...]

Dunsoghly Castle, St.Margarets. co.Dublin c.1450

This national monument is the impressive Dunsoghly Castle located only about 2 miles from the runway of Dublin Airport. It is one of the few 15th century fortified tower houses in Ireland to have survived intact. [...]

Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus. co.Clare 1835

Dromoland Castle is one of the most beautiful and desirable 5* hotels in Ireland. It is believed that this location was the ancestral home of the O’Briens who are the direct descendants of Brian Boru [...]

Clontarf Castle Gatehouse, Clontarf. co. Dublin 1837

This is the beautiful gatehouse for Clontarf Castle which along with the castle were totally remodeled in the 1830's. The original castle was built by the Norman, Hugh de Lacy, in 1172 near the site [...]

Swords Castle, Swords. co.Dublin c.1200 (Sord-‘clear or pure’)

In 1181 John Comyn succeeded Laurence O'Toole as the 1st Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin and it appears that he chose Swords as his chief residence. This castle was built as his manorial residence and was [...]

Portumna Castle, Portumna. co. Galway 1618

Portumna Castle is a very interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house and the neoclassical large country manor. It was built in 1618 on the banks of Lough [...]

Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny City. co.Kilkenny – 1195

Kilkenny Castle is one of the most recognisable castles in Ireland. This strategic site was where the local Kings of Osraige had their chief residence before the Norman invasion. Kilkenny formed part of the lordship [...]

Kilkea Castle, Castledermot. co.Kildare – built 1426 on earlier site

The structure of Kilkea castle (as you see it) dates from c.1426 and is a claimant of the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Ireland. This was built on an earlier Norman motte and bailey built [...]

Ashford Castle, Cong. co. Mayo – b.1881 on earlier Norman site

The architecture of Ashford Castle dates from several eras. The oldest section is a 13th-century Norman castle that once belonged to the de Burgh family. A house styled like a French château (the original Ashford [...]

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty. co.Clare – c.1425

Bunratty Castle is one of Ireland's most famous buildings and a top tourist attraction. The main structure was built between 1425 and 1467 by the powerful O’Brien family who later became the Earls of Thomond. [...]

Rockfleet Castle, Newport. co.Mayo – c.1550

Rockfleet Castle was built in the mid 16th century and was the main stronghold of Grace O’Malley, the ‘Pirate Queen of the west’ (c.1530- c. 1603). This strategic location was carefully chosen by Grace as [...]

Rock of Dunamase, Dunamase. co.Laois – built c.1170 on ancient site

This national monument is The Rock of Dunamase. It is one of Ireland's most impressive historical sites as it sits on a limestone outcrop (known as a hum) 150 feet above the flat surrounding plains. [...]

Dunseverick Castle, Dunseverick. co.Antrim. c.1540

Dunseverick Castle is located in what was regarded as a 'key' site in ancient Ireland as this was the point where one of the royal roads from Tara ended. It has  a well which was [...]

Doe Castle, Cresslough. co.Donegal – c.1500

Doe Castle is located on the shore of Sheephaven Bay in County Donegal. It sits on a small peninsula, surrounded on 3 sides by water with a moat cut into the rock. The castle was [...]

Ardee Castle, Ardee. co.Louth – 15th century a.d

This national monument is the largest fortified medieval tower house in Ireland. The original structure was founded by an Anglo-Norman lord called Roger de Peppard in 1207 although little remains of it. This 'current building' [...]

Carrickabraghy Castle, Doagh Island. co.Donegal – c.1590

Carrickabraghy Castle was one of a network of castles built to defend and protect the Inishowen lands belonging to the O'Doherty clan in the late 1500's. It was built using sea-sand mortar on a strategic [...]

Killeen Castle, Dunsany. co.Meath – built c.1820

The history of Killeen Castle dates back over eight hundred years to 1181, when Hugh de Lacy built castles for a strategic defense system for north Leinster. From 1403 until the 1950’s, the castle acted [...]

Ashtown Castle, Phoenix Park. Dublin City – c.1500

There is a fascinating  story why this castle looks so new....In 1978 due to the presence of dry rot it was decided to demolish the 18th century 'Ashtown Lodge' that was located on the site [...]

Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan. co.Dublin – 1738

Ardgillan Castle is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the town of Skerries and has spectacular views out to the Irish Sea and up to the Mourne Mountains in co. Down. The name 'Ardgillan' is [...]

Taaffe’s Castle, Carlingford. co.Louth – c.1520

Taaffe's Castle is situated in the beautiful medieval town of Carlingford. It was built at the start of the 16th century as a fortified townhouse and a trading depot for the Taaffe family. The Taaffe's [...]

Dunluce Castle, Bushmills. co.Antrim – built c.16th & 17th centuries

Click edit button to change this text. The stunning ruins of Dunluce Castle is used extensively to market Northern Ireland as a holiday destination. It is located on the north Antrim coast on top [...]

Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, Dalkey. co.Dublin – c.15th century

Dalkey is one of the prettiest and most exclusive villages in Ireland. It was once noted for it's seven castles of which only two remain, this one, and Archibald's Castle on the other side of [...]

Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham. co.Dublin – 1583

Rathfarnham Castle was built in 1585 by Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh. This is one of the finest examples of what is described as a 'fortified manor house' in Ireland. It's 4 flanker towers, instead [...]

Howth Castle, Howth. co.Dublin – built c.1450 on an earlier site

Howth Castle has been the private residence of the Gaisford - St Lawrence family for over 800 years since 1177. It has its origins in medieval times when Almeric, the first Lord of Howth, came [...]

Baldongan Church and Tower, Skerries. co.Dublin – c.13th century a.d

This national monument are the ruins of a fortified church constructed by the Knights Templar in the 13th century. It is located between Lusk and Skerries in north co. Dublin. A castle which lay adjacent [...]

Burt Castle, Burt. co.Donegal – c.1580

Burt Castle was built around 1560 - 1580 and and would have originally been located on an island surrounded by marshland. This was just one of a network of castles built around Inishowen by the [...]

Malahide Castle, Malahide. co.Dublin – 1185 enlarged 1470

This castle was built as a large fortress in 1185 by Sir Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied King Henry II to Ireland. It was was occupied by the Talbot family between 1185 until 1973 making it the longest continuosly inhabited castle in Ireland by the same family. On the morning of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, 14 members of the family sat and had breakfast together for the last time as none of them returned. It was considerably enlarged during the reign of Edward IV around 1470 and the towers were added in 1765. Dublin County Council bought the property and the 265 acres in 1975 giving public access to one of the finest period interiors and beautiful botanical gardens.

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