Kilcrea Castle

Map Reference: W506683 (1506, 0683)

Kilcrea Castle is a rectangular five-storey tower-house which stands at the NE corner of a rectangular bawn. There is a small two-storey tower at the diagonally opposite corner. The pointed doorway near the north end of the east wall of the castle gives access to a small lobby beyond which is the main ground floor room. On the south side of the lobby a pointed doorway leads to a mural stairway. This rises to the SE corner and then changes to a spiral to reach the fourth floor level. The castle is vaulted above the first and third floors. A short spiral stair rises above the second vault to reach the level of the alure. This seems to be intact on all four sides. Close examination was not possible since there are no remains of a parapet nor crenellations.

The castle may have been built by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy in the middle of the 15th century, although the bawn may be a later addition. MacCarthy is also credited with the building of the nearby Franciscan friary about 1465. It stands on a low oval mound surrounded by a water-logged fosse.

Mural stairway

Spiral stairway

Above the second vault

The corner tower of the bawn

The alure

Latrine chute exit

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