Must See Landmarks, Buildings & National Monuments

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 Curlew Mountains. This route between south Connaught, north Connaght and west Ulster. It was built during the nine years war (1592-1601) by Captain John St […]

Musseden Temple, Downhill. co.Derry 1785

The Mussenden Temple was built in 1785 and forms part of the estate of Frederick Augustus Hervey ‘the Earl Bishop’, Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol. It is perched dramatically on a 120 ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland, offering spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and […]

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 originally comprised of an Elizabethan tower house, a three storied mansion and a corner turret but was renovated around 1830 with the addition of a […]

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 excavations believe that it is actually the remains of a 13th century Norman castle that was never recorded! It later came into the possession of the […]

Taghadoe Round Tower, Taghadoe. co.Kildare c.10th Century

Taghadoe derives its name from ‘Teach Tua’, meaning House of Tua. St Tua, also known as Ultan the Silent, was the abbot of Clonmacnoise who founded the monastery here. Little is known of it except that one of its abbots, Folachtach, died here in 765 AD. The tower dates to the 10th century and stands ‘capless’ at 65 feet tall […]

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 leap’ in Irish and its location on the confluence of the River Liffey and the Rye Water has has marked a frontier since the ancient […]

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 families including William Sutton(1630), Lord Kingstown (1689), Bartholomew Van Homreigh, the Lord Mayor of Dublin (1703), Mr Hugh Barton, the wine merchant who constructed the […]

The Anchorite Cell Chapel, Fore. co.Westmeath c.1830 on earlier site

This little building is the Anchorite Cell Chapel and is part of the Fore Abbey complex. The original church here was founded by St Feichin in 630 and the abbey later expanded to have up to 300 monks and 2000 students living in it’s grounds. The Abbey was also ‘rich pickings’ for the local Gaelic clans and Vikings as it […]

The Molly Malone Statue, Grafton Street (now removed). Dublin City 1988

The Molly Malone Statue was designed by Jeanne Rynhart and based on a popular song of a 17th century fictional character to celebrate Dublin’s first millennium in 1988. It tells the tale of a fishmonger who is typically represented as a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night. Her low-cut dress and large breasts were justified on the grounds […]

Dowth Passage Tomb, Dowth. co.Meath c.2500 – 2000 b.c

Dowth, which means ‘darkness’, is one of the 3 principle passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site (The other 2 being Newgrange and Knowth). It dates from c.2500 b.c and shares a solar alignment with neighbouring Newgrange during the winter solstice and is also surprisingly of a similar size measuring 90 metres in diameter and 15 metres […]

The German Military Cemetery, Glencree. co.Wicklow 1945

The German Military Cemetery, located beside the Glencree centre for Peace and Reconciliation in the Wicklow Mountains. This was originally a quarry owned by Lord Powerscourt to supply the nearby military barracks. Although Ireland positioned itself neutral during the war, some Germans were killed in action here from causes such as aircrafts getting lost in foul weather, crashing as a […]

Burrishoole Friary, Newport. co.Mayo 1470

Burrishoole Friary, now a national monument, was founded in 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough. De Burgo was an ancestor of Risdeárd an Iarainn Bourke; Granuaile O’Malley’s second husband, who originally owned the nearby Rockfleet Castle. Richard de Burgo resigned his lordship in 1469 and entered the friary where he remained until his death four years later. Dominican friaries […]