Ballybunnion Castle

Map Reference: Q861414 (0861,1414)

Ballybunnion Castle stands on top of a cliff on the site of a promontory fort. It was built by the Fitzmaurices who retained it until the middle of the 16th century. In a raid of 1582 the castle was badly damaged by Lord Kerry. The ruin was granted to the Bunnion family but was confiscated the following year. It was later restored by King James to the Fitzmaurice family who retained it well into the 18th century. Only the east wall remains to four storeys with fragments of the attached north and south walls. The castler is lit mainly by small square-headed slits except at the top floor where there is a large window opening’ It seems to have had a pointed arch. There is evidence that the castle was vaulted over the ground floor and the third floor. There was a spiral stairway in the SE corner but it is now blocked and all of the stairs have been removed. In 1987 a branched souterrain was discovered leading towards the castle from the cliff face. The branch leads to a beehive chamber which is over 2m high. The main line of the souterrain was blocked by a cave-in before it reached the castle. This souterrain probably belongs to the pre-castle era when the promontory fort was in use.

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