Castles & Tower Houses 1350 – 1850 a.d

Fortified tower houses are singled towered, fortified residences built by the ‘Old English’ and Gaelic Irish between about 1400 – 1600. Tower houses had specially protected doorways where an iron grill allowed the wooden door to be opened permitting negotiations with the enemy but preventing them gaining entry. Most are 3, 4 or 5 stories in height and have narrow windows and stepped battlements. After 1600 these became known as Fortified Houses and after 1800 the castles were usually mock-castles (basically big fancy pads that look tough!)

Cahir Castle, Cahir. County Tipperary 1142

2020-04-30T12:13:39+00:00

One of Ireland's largest and most impressive castles, Excalibur & Cromwell Cahir Castle was originally a Gaelic stronghold that belonged to Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond who built a fortification here on an [...]

Cahir Castle, Cahir. County Tipperary 11422020-04-30T12:13:39+00:00

Ross Castle, Killarney. County Kerry c.1460

2020-05-06T15:05:39+00:00

Killarney's largest & most romantic castle Ross Castle was built sometime in the late 15th century by the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains and was surrounded by a fortified bawn, curtain walls, and circular flanking [...]

Ross Castle, Killarney. County Kerry c.14602020-05-06T15:05:39+00:00

Delvin Castle, Delvin. County Westmeath 1310

2020-04-28T22:07:40+00:00

Loyal Kings men, The Nugents & An ancient trading route Delvin Castle is located right in the middle of Delvin village in County Westmeath. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a [...]

Delvin Castle, Delvin. County Westmeath 13102020-04-28T22:07:40+00:00

Athcarne Castle, Balrath. County Meath 1590

2020-04-25T20:16:38+00:00

Battle of the Boyne, Spectres & Blood covered hands This foreboding looking building is Athcarne Castle located in Balrath co. Meath.  It was built for William Bathe in 1590. The Bathe family produced [...]

Athcarne Castle, Balrath. County Meath 15902020-04-25T20:16:38+00:00

Leixlip Castle, Leixlip. County Kildare 1172

2020-05-07T06:57:31+00:00

One of the earliest Norman castles & continuously occupied buildings in Ireland Leixlip Castle was built in 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, one year after the Norman Invasion of [...]

Leixlip Castle, Leixlip. County Kildare 11722020-05-07T06:57:31+00:00

Barberstown Castle, Straffan. County Kildare c.1500

2020-05-01T13:30:34+00:00

Only 37 owners so far (including Eric Clapton) Barberstown Castle is located in Straffan. co.Kildare. It was built around c.1500 on the grounds of an earlier Norman castle built by Nicholas Barby in [...]

Barberstown Castle, Straffan. County Kildare c.15002020-05-01T13:30:34+00:00

White’s Castle, Athy. County Kildare 1417

2020-04-29T17:47:03+00:00

An important strategic location for thousand of years 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 [...]

White’s Castle, Athy. County Kildare 14172020-04-29T17:47:03+00:00

Puck’s Castle, Shankill. County Dublin 1500

2020-05-03T10:47:49+00:00

The Pooka, A spooky disappearance & King James II 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 [...]

Puck’s Castle, Shankill. County Dublin 15002020-05-03T10:47:49+00:00

Narrow Water Castle, Warrenpoint. County Down 1560

2020-05-03T18:07:35+00:00

One of the best-preserved fortified tower-houses in Ireland Narrow Water Castle is located just outside the town of Warrenpoint on the banks of Carlingford Lough. It is regarded as one of the best-preserved [...]

Narrow Water Castle, Warrenpoint. County Down 15602020-05-03T18:07:35+00:00

Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh. County Dublin 1240.

2020-04-29T19:13:51+00:00

One of the few moated castles in Ireland The original castle in Drimnagh was built around 1240 by a Norman Knight called Hugo de Berneval whose family name was later anglicized to Barnewall. [...]

Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh. County Dublin 1240.2020-04-29T19:13:51+00:00

Monea Castle, Monea, County Fermanagh 1618

2020-05-06T15:48:37+00:00

One of the best-preserved Scottish styled plantation castles in Northern Ireland The Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century was an attempt by the English monarchy to take control of the troublesome [...]

Monea Castle, Monea, County Fermanagh 16182020-05-06T15:48:37+00:00

Buncrana Castle, Buncrana, County Donegal 1718

2020-04-29T07:17:22+00:00

The earliest and most important of the 'Big Houses' of Inishowen During the 18th century, large manor houses like this one were known as 'castles'. This house was built by Colonel George Vaughan [...]

Buncrana Castle, Buncrana, County Donegal 17182020-04-29T07:17:22+00:00

Clontarf Castle Gatehouse, Clontarf. Dublin City 1830

2020-04-30T17:56:52+00:00

900 years of history, Thin Lizzy & Dana This is the beautiful gatehouse for Clontarf Castle which along with the castle were totally remodeled in the 1830s. The original castle was built by [...]

Clontarf Castle Gatehouse, Clontarf. Dublin City 18302020-04-30T17:56:52+00:00

Swords Castle, Swords. County Dublin 1190

2020-04-26T13:26:00+00:00

An Arch-Bishop's private getaway, An orchard & The Tudors Swords Castle is located in the town of Swords in north county Dublin and dates from 1190 a.d. In 1181 John Comyn succeeded Laurence [...]

Swords Castle, Swords. County Dublin 11902020-04-26T13:26:00+00:00

Portumna Castle, Portumna. County Galway 1618

2020-04-29T19:40:49+00:00

Rare transitional castle to mansion Portumna Castle was built in 1618 and is regarded as an interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house and the classical [...]

Portumna Castle, Portumna. County Galway 16182020-04-29T19:40:49+00:00

The Clonfinlough Stone, Clonfinlough. County Offaly c.1000BC-1400AD

2020-05-03T17:36:33+00:00

Strange carvings on an international pilgrimage route The Clonfinlough Stone is located near the village of Clonfinlough in County Offaly. This national monument has mysterious carvings that may date from any time between [...]

The Clonfinlough Stone, Clonfinlough. County Offaly c.1000BC-1400AD2020-05-03T17:36:33+00:00

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head. County Wexford 1200

2020-05-08T07:14:11+00:00

A great storm & the promise of William Marshall  The beautiful Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his [...]

Tintern Abbey, Hook Head. County Wexford 12002020-05-08T07:14:11+00:00

Kilkea Castle, Castledermot. County Kildare 1426

2020-05-06T13:36:38+00:00

A claimant to the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Ireland & The Wizard Earl Kilkea Castle was built in 1426 and is a claimant of the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Ireland (as [...]

Kilkea Castle, Castledermot. County Kildare 14262020-05-06T13:36:38+00:00

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty. County Clare 1467

2020-05-02T10:09:34+00:00

The Vikings, The O'Briens, Dungeons & a No.1 tourist attraction Bunratty Castle is located in the village of Bunratty in County Clare. This is one of the most impressive castles and one of [...]

Bunratty Castle, Bunratty. County Clare 14672020-05-02T10:09:34+00:00

Rockfleet Castle, Newport. County Mayo c.1550

2020-05-08T09:18:29+00:00

home to the Pirate Queen Rockfleet Castle is located near Newport in County Mayo. It dates from the mid-1500s and was the main stronghold of Grace O’Malley (c.1530- c. 1603) - The ‘Pirate [...]

Rockfleet Castle, Newport. County Mayo c.15502020-05-08T09:18:29+00:00

Doe Castle, Cresslough. County Donegal c.1500

2020-05-07T06:48:28+00:00

The Mac Sweeneys, The O'Dohertys & The O'Neills, and even Brian McFadden from Westlife! Doe Castle was built by the MacSweeneys in the early 1500s and is similar in style to a Scottish [...]

Doe Castle, Cresslough. County Donegal c.15002020-05-07T06:48:28+00:00

Ardee Castle, Ardee. County Louth 15th century

2020-04-30T11:50:23+00:00

One of the largest fortified medieval tower house in Ireland  Ardee Castle is located right on the main street of Ardee village in County Louth. It is the largest fortified medieval tower house [...]

Ardee Castle, Ardee. County Louth 15th century2020-04-30T11:50:23+00:00

Killeen Castle, Dunsany. County Meath 1820

2020-05-01T13:22:03+00:00

The Plunkett's, Hugh de Lacy & A stunning new golf course The first castle on this site was built by Geoffrey de Cusack, an Anglo-Norman who came to Ireland with Hugh de Lacy. [...]

Killeen Castle, Dunsany. County Meath 18202020-05-01T13:22:03+00:00

Ardgillan Castle, Skerries. County Dublin 1738

2020-05-01T13:24:53+00:00

famous diaries, original interiors & spectacular sea views Ardgillan Castle is located in a beautiful setting overlooking the town of Skerries in north county Dublin. It has spectacular views out to the Irish [...]

Ardgillan Castle, Skerries. County Dublin 17382020-05-01T13:24:53+00:00
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