Outstanding examples of a fortified tower & a Queen Anne style house
Roscrea Castle has somehow survived a turbulent history. It was originally the site of a motte and bailey fortification known as King John’s Castle which was later strengthened by stone for the Bishop of Killaloe in 1281. It was later granted to the Butlers of Ormond in 1315 who held it for the next 400 years. In 1646, Eoin Roe O’Neill, at the head of 1,200 men, stormed Roscrea and reportedly killed every man, woman, and child. The only survivor was the governor’s wife, Lady Hamilton, who was a sister to the Earl of Ormond. She was again forced to play host to O’Neill 3 years later which again ended by the guests looting everything in sight (including the women’s clothing!) In 1703 the Duke of Ormond sold the castle to the Damer family who built an elegant three-story pre-Palladian house in the courtyard. During the 1800s it the castle was used as a barracks for soldiers. In 1892 the castle became a national monument and is now under the care of the OPW.