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Visiting The Irish Castle At Claregalway

In times gone by, the Irish castle at Claregalway was of crucial strategic importance in relation being so close to Galway City.

Claregalway Castle is beautifully restored by private hand and is one of the most impressive Norman Tower House Castles in Ireland.

Claregalway Castle, County Galway, Ireland, defensive narrow stairway.

Our Opinion

If you are in the area, go and visit this medieval treasure. The building looks plain from the outside, but the two large spacious and beautifully furnished halls of this Norman Tower House are stunning. The castle tours are given by professional archaeologists and historians. Not only will you learn about what went on at the castle itself, but the tour will also put this in the context of what was happening in the region and in the whole country at the time. We found the guide very approachable and deeply knowledgeable while also being tolerant of and kind towards kids, which is important if you have a young family.

If you want to take a castle tour beware. The owner reports that this one of the haunted Irish castles. Strange happenings have been reported late at night...Not surprising when you consider all the bloodshed associated with this place.

Claregalway Castle, County Galway, Ireland.

About Claregalway Castle

Claregalway Castle is privately owned by Dr. O’Donoghue who undertook a ten year reconstruction of the castle and other buildings on the grounds starting in 2002. This involved master craftsmen such as stonemasons and carpenters all working in traditional methods. It also involved extensive archaeological digs. In other words- a pure labour of love by someone who has a deep appreciation for the treasures of medieval Ireland.

14th century tithe box, retrofitted with legs, on show at Claregalway Castle, County Galway, Ireland.

An early 15th century tithe box, part of the medieval furniture collection at Claregalway Castle.

Directions

The castle is hard to miss. From Galway, head towards Sligo/ Tuam on the N17. Pass through most of Claregalway, and once you cross the Clare River, look left, the castle is located directly on the main road. The drive from Galway city should take 20 minutes at most, although the village of Claregalway itself can be a bit of a bottle neck at rush hour.

Prices And Opening Times

The Irish Castle at Claregalway is open to the public seven days a week from the start of June until the end of September, 11.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The castle also hosts other events like concerts and history lectures as well as the annual Claregalway Garden Festival at the start of July. The castle is a vibrant part of the local cultural scene.

During the Garden Festival, entry to the castle including a guided tour costs only a Euro per adult with kids going free. All other times, a tour will cost 4 Euros per adult.

Swords on the table of the great hall at Claregalway Castle, County Galway, Ireland.

In the great hall

Find Out More About Irish Castles

Annaghdown Castle

Our Special Tips

No 1:

Make Claregalway a half day trip from Galway City as your base. Don’t forget to take in the well-kept Franciscan Friary in Claregalway which is located across the main road from the castle. Archaeologists believe that the original settlement of Claregalway was located right between the castle and friary. Visiting both will help you visualise medieval Claregalway.

No2:

Have lunch at one of Claregalway’s two hotels to break your day before you move on.

No 3:

Before you go, follow an attackers journey as they try to conquer this fortress, and read about the castle's bloody history.

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