Clara Castle

Map Reference: S574580 (2574, 1580)

Clara Castle is a very fine tower-house about five storeys high.

It is vaulted above the third floor and the original oak beams of all the other main floors are still in place. A spiral stairway rises to the left of the doorway and there is a small flat-roofed chamber to the right. The door is hung on the original hing-stones.

The floors of all the small rooms above the entrance are missing but some of the beams are still in place. The small room at the first floor was originally painted blue and one wall has a good Crucifixion mural. The large room at ground level is lit by small slits set within deep recesses, as is the first floor. There is an ambry at the first floor and a brick fireplace built in front of a small window. There is a small chamber in the south wall at the second floor. There is a large two-light window and in the south-west corner a mural passage leads to a garderobe in the west wall.

Within the west wall at third floor level is a secret chamber which now has an opening behind a latrine. It is lit by one small window. Above the vault is a room with a fireplace. It is lit by two-light windows in the south and west walls and by single-light windows in the north and east walls. The fireplace is in the east wall. The secret room may be entered from this level through a hole in the floor. From this level the stairway becomes a straight mural structure which rises to roof level although this is not now accessible. However the allure seems to be intact and there are good weepers and crenellations. There is a slopstone over the doorway at the third floor and possibly one leading from the stairway just below this level.

The stairway is lit by small slits including a cross-shaped loop just below first floor level. There is a very fine machicolation at roof level. The entrance to the tower is well defended by a small bawn about 3.5m wide and 13m long. It has many small defensive loops.

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