Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Tremblestown Castle Co Meath dates back to the 15th Century and what was originally a tower house grew to be much more.
The tower house was the home of the Barnwell family.
One of the main features is the large two storey barrel vaulted hall on the ground floor.
Much of what can be seen today was built in the 18th Century by the castles owner Lord Trimlestown.
The owner was quite a colourful character who apart from building a large estate around the castle also found time to treat the locals (for free) with medical skills gained from living abroad.
Further work was carried out at the start of the 19th Century and yet soon after the castle was left unoccupied and it soon fell into ruin.
Access - The castle is a short drive from Trim, but you will have to abandon the car quite a distance from the ruin and complete the journey on foot.
Because of the castles size it is very visible from a long way off.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This well preserved tower house was most likely built by the Kilkelly family in the early 16th century.
In 1574 the castle was known to be owned by Shane Ballagh.
The Castle is five storeys high, with the ground and second floor vaulted.
There is a spiral staircase in the the south-east corner which leads to roof level.
The remains of a murder hole sits above the doorway.
The castle was still in use up to and during the War of Independence (it was used as a barracks by The Crown forces).
The castle was to play its part in a gruesome murder of two local men during this time, this link is a superb read.
Access - The castle is a short drive from Ardrahan (N18) via the R347, parking will be tricky as the roads are very narrow.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Of the many round towers I have been lucky to visit Meelick Round Tower would have to be in my top 10 favourite tower sites.
The tower is 22 meters high with the doorway just under 3.5 meters from the base.
The brick work on the tower is sandstone, but looks like it has been scraped or blasted (which gives the stone a very bare look).
The tower is thought to have been built between the mid 9th Century and early 10th Century and is located on a monastic site associated with St Broccaidh.
At the base of the tower is a headstone which bears the inscription Or Oit Do Grieni (a prayer for Griene ).
Access - The tower can be seen from the N5 on your left before Swinford heading north.
From there just follow one of the two roads that bring you to the tower.
Parking will not be a problem as the location is a graveyard that is still in use today.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
To be honest I was on my way to another site when I came across Graigue.
Having seen images of this standing stone I had always thought the site was far from the beaten track.
This giant of a stone has split into two.
The larger of the slabs remains upright with the smaller one now at a forty five degree angle (resting on two large stones).
The upright stone is over 3.5 meters in height and over 2.5 meters in width.
The smaller slab is 3 meters in height and over 2 meters in width.
Access - The stone can be seen very clearly from the road, it is in a field just before you reach the quarry. Parking will be a problem as the road is very narrow, to get up close to the stone you will have to climb a bank (small) and hop over a fence.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The stunning ruin of Ballycarbery Castle can be found a short drive from Cahersiveen Co Kerry.
The castle is dated from the 16th Century but is built on an earlier site thought to date from the 14th Century.
The castle was originally the seat of the MacCarthy Mor family.
Sources indicate that in the early 16th Century it was occupied by the O'Connells in their capacity as MacCarthy wardens.
From then the castle was passed onto Sir Valentine Browne following the death of its owner Daniel McCarthy Mor.
The majority of the castle wall were destroyed by Cromwell's forces in 1652 when it was fired on with cannons.
What you can see today gives you an idea of what a fantastic site Ballycarbery was when intact.
It would seem that this part of history has been forgotten as the ruin is in quite a bad state and in need of restoration.
Access - Parking can be found for a few cars quite close to the ruin.
The field the castle is in can sometimes have cattle in it so you will have to duck under a wire fence to get up close.
If you have time, you will find close by Cahergal Stone Fort which is well worth checking out !
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Knocknakilla Standing Stone can be found very close to the more well known and famous Knocknakilla Stone Circle.
The standing stone sits high in a field with good views all round.
The Stone is over 1.5 meters in height and has a very distinct rectangular shape.
To see the standing stone from the road you need to be travelling north towards Glantane/Millstreet.
If you are coming from the other direction the stone will not be visible.
Access - from the road you walk up a drive way, this leads you into the field that the stone is in.
This site is well worth checking out along with the many other more well known sites close by.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Ballinduff Castle Co Galway can be found just off the main Galway Headford N84 road in the parish of Kilcoona.
This 14th Century tower house is said to have been built by the DeBurgo family.
The Castle ruin is located very close to what remains of an earlier monastic settlement.
Ballinduff Castle is mentioned in the "Annals of the Four Masters" for a battle between The Clanricarde and Red Hugh O'Donnell who was aided by the Mayo Burke clan. Red Hugh was victorious in the battle against The Clanricarde.
The castle is recorded as being sold to the Skerrett family in the late 16th Century.
Access- you can see the castle from the N84 (on your left going towards Headford).
To get to the ruin turn left on a bad bend, drive for approx 1 km and take another left. A few hundred metres just past a large house on the left you should see the castle through a field gate.