Annaghdown Castle

Map Reference: M288378 (1288, 2378)

Annaghdown Castle stands in Ballylee townland, about 200m to the south of the priory. It was probably erected after 1421 by the Archbishop of Tuam. It is an almost square tower standing five storeys high. It has undergone recent renovation and is not now open to the public. I visited the castle in 1986 and the photographs and notes date from that time. The doorway in the SE wall is protected by a good murder-hole leading from the first floor and by a small loop from the stairway. To the left is a low narrow chamber and a broad stairway rises to the right within the east wall as far as the first floor. Thereafter it becomes spiral and is intact as far as the second but fragmentary beyond that. There is a fireplace at the first floor and mural chambers in the south wall at the first and second floors. There is a vault above the second floor. A long passage in the north wall leads from the stairway between second and third floors. There are traces of bartizans at the corners of the south wall and another at the north-east corner. There are no crenellations. The castle is lit by small slits at the lower levels and two-light windows at the higher levels. There is the usual pecked decoration at the doorways. There is a slopstone at the second floor and a latrine chute exit at the base of the NW wall. The east and west gables are set back from the level of the main wall. There are traces of a gable level with the south wall and there may have been a similar north gable.

A mural passage

The murder hole

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