Wherever you go in Ireland, there will always be a medieval
Irish castle ruin somewhere close by.
Visiting them can quickly become an obsession. When we
started this project, we had no idea just how addictive medieval castles would be!
Kinlough Castle, County Galway
Ballindiff Castles on the shores of Lough Corrib on an atmospheric November day.
Visiting castles is a great thing to do with kids. It
fosters the imagination and it creates lasting memories. Our kids love these
excursions and we would recommend them to anyone.
You become very
curious about the history of these places, and you wonder how people
lived back then and what was important to them. Great questions to ask!
There is a lot, of course, that you can find out online, but it is always worth asking older people in the locality about local stories connected with the place. The oral tradition is alive and well in Ireland, and can bring history to life.
Ballycurrin Castle in County Mayo
Ballysnahina Castle, County Mayo
Headford Castle, County Galway
Kiltrogue Castle, County Galway
Wellingtons and rain gear will come in useful most times of
the year. Some land can get very water logged.
Bring a camera, for sure!
It’s always advisable to carry a good ordinance survey map
of the area you are visiting. Spending those few Euros will be the best
investment ever as it helps you to locate little gems like castle ruins.
And don’t forget your picnic.
Moygara Castle near Monasterden, County Sligo is a fine example of an early Irish castle. When the site was captured by the Norman De Lacy family from the Gaelic O'Gara Clan early in the 13th century, there were already fortifications of some sort present. The Normans probably started the castle, but some fifty years later the site was recaptured by the O'Gara's who then managed to hold onto it until the late 16th century. Carbon dating results of the castle for different parts came back with dates varying between 1220 and 1650 suggesting that the castle was rebuilt after attacks, and modernized over the entire period of its' use.
Most castle ruins tend to be on private land. If you can
locate the landowner, it’s good to ask if it is okay to visit the castle. Some,
who perhaps take an interest in history, can be very forthcoming, others will
allow you in reluctantly, and there are many shades in between.
As always, treat the place with respect, leave no trace and leave everything in place.
Off you go and have some castle-fun and give us some social attention please if you enjoyed this page!
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Copyright 2014 by Colm Sweeney and Susanna Lambeck www.enjoy-irish-culture.com