Castlerea Castle

Map Reference: N155678 (2155, 2678)

This small tower-house may date from the 15th century. It stands four-square possibly four storeys high. The entrance was in the north wall but all worked stone has been removed leaving a large irregular gap. This has been partly blocked by drystone walling.

The doorway was protected by a machicolation but only one corbel of this is still in place. The other lies amid the rubble at the base of the wall. The doorway was also protected by a murder-hole which led from a small rectangular vaulted chamber at the first floor.

There was a guard-chamber to the right of the entrance and a spiral stairway rose in the corner to the left. The nature of the inner doorway to the castle is not clear because most of the wall separating the lobby from the ground floor room is missing. Not enough remains to indicate whether the inner and outer doorway were directly opposite each other or staggered. The single large rectangular room at the ground floor was lit by one small window set within a deep recess. At the first floor there was another large room as well as the smaller room at the top of the murder-hole. Access to both these room was from the stairway. At the south of the larger room there appears to have been a mural passage leading possibly to a garderobe in the SW corner.

Exits from a double latrine chute can be seen from outside the building. There is a vault above the first floor. There appears to be at least two storeys above the vault.

However access to the upper levels of the castle is not possible because the spiral stairway has been broken above first floor level. There is a slop-stone in the east wall leading possibly from the second floor.

All the worked stone has been removed from the larger window openings and many of the corner stones are missing.

The dilapidated state of the building is due mainly to its age and to the fact that it may not have been used as a dwelling in recent centuries. However in more recent years a cow managed to climb the spiral stairway but was unable to come down. Part of the wall had to be removed to allow the beast to be lowered.

For details of some other Tower Houses click on the following links

Ballynalacken, Co Clare Ballyportry, Co Clare Cratloemoyle, Co Clare Gleninagh, Co Clare Smithstown, Co Clare Ballinacarriga, Co Cork Carrickadroichid, Co Cork Dunmanus, Co Cork Buncrana, Co Donegal Audley’s Castle, Co Down Jordan’s Castle, Co Down Kilclief, Co Down Narrow Water, Co Down Dunsoghly, Co Dublin Ardamullivan, Co Galway Drumharsna, Co Galway Feartagar, Co Galway Lydacan, Co Galway Ballymalis, Co Kerry Ballybur, Co Kilkenny Burnchurch, Co Kilkenny Foulksrath, Co Kilkenny Rockstown, Co Limerick Ardee, Co Louth Killincoole, Co Louth Dunmahon, Co Louth Roodstown, Co Louth Termonfeckin, Co Louth Kildavnet, Co Mayo Kinlough, Co Mayo Rockfleet, Co Mayo Donore, Co Meath Lynch’s Castle, Co Meath Clonony, Co Offaly Shrah, Co Offaly Ballyfinboy, Co Tipperary Ballyvada, Co Tipperary Grallagh, Co Tipperary Graystown, Co Tipperary Lisronagh, Co Tipperary Moycarkey, Co Tipperary Tombrickane, Co Tipperary Syonan, Co Westmeath Tyrrelspass, Co Westmeath Kilcloggan, Co Wexford Rathmacknee, Co Wexford Taghmon, Co Wexford Threecastles, Co Wicklow

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