Fortified Tower Houses

Desmond Hall, Newcastle West. co.Limerick 13th-15th centuries

This National Monument is Desmond Hall located in Newcastle West. This area preserves many of Ireland's surviving medieval halls which were used by the Earls of Desmond for banqueting and entertainment. The Hall, the vaulted [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

Swords Round Tower & Belfrey, Swords. co. Dublin – c.10th-14th a.d. (Sord-‘clear or pure’)

The 10th century Swords Round Tower is 26 m high and is instantly recognizable from it's crumbling windows and collapsed cap. The tower also possesses a stone cross at it's apex, something that is shared [...]

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 [...]

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' [...]

Skreen Church. Hill of Skryne. co. Meath – 1341

Skreen Church is a national monument which stands on an elevated position on The Hill of Skryne. It was built in 1341 on the site of an earlier church which had a shrine dedicated to [...]

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 [...]

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

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

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

St Macculin’s Church, Lusk. co.Dublin – c.9th Round Tower c.15th Keep. c.19th Church

This interesting building is comprised of a 9th century round tower, a 15th century defensive tower and a 19th century church. The village of Lusk derives its name from an Irish word 'lusca' which means [...]

Cloonacaueen Castle, Tuam Road. co.Galway – 15th century

Cloonacauneen Castle is a stunning 15th century tower house situated on outskirts of Galway City. Unusually, the majority of Cloonacaueen's owners have been recorded since 1574, when Richard Beag Burke lived here. The castle next [...]

Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard. co.Galway – c.1490

This national monument is one of the best and grandest fortified tower houses in the country and is one of over 200 built in county Galway alone. It has 6 floors including a banqueting hall and [...]

Kilgobbin Castle, Stepaside. co.Dublin – c.1476

Kilgobbin Castle is located near the village of Stepaside. It was built around 1476 by the Walshe family who were 'marcher lords' of the area and controlled extensive tracts of lands in South Dublin. These [...]

St Maelruan’s Church, Tallaght. co.Dublin c.15th a.d. (Tamh Leacht -‘plague pit’)

St Maelruan's Church located in the most historic part of Tallaght was designed by the famous Dublin architect, John Semple. Christian worship has continued on this site for over 1200 years since St Maelruan founded [...]

Knappogue Castle, Quin. co.Clare – 1467

Knappogue Castle was built in 1467 by Sean MacNamara and is a magnificent example of a medieval tower house. It has a long and varied history from a battle field to a dwelling place. It [...]

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