Castle Willington, Killowney Big
Map Reference: R934818 (1934, 1818)
All the photos on this page are by John O'Meara
This tower-house was originally four storeys high but in the early 17th century an extra floor was inserted above the third floor hall. The building stands to full height, and although the crenellations are fragmentary, many of the roof weepers are visible. The castle is partly covered with ivy which obscures much of the fenestration.
The pointed doorway in the west wall leads to a lobby which is protected by a murder-hole. To the south is a guardroom and to the north is another lobby. From this inner lobby a pointed doorway leads to the ground floor room. A second pointed doorway from the lobby leads to the spiral stairway in the NW corner. The castle is vaulted above the second floor. At the second floor thee is a two-light window in the east wall and single-light windows in the south and west walls. A doorway at the south side of the window embrasure leads to a mural chamber.
There are many original floor beams at this level. There are round bartizans at the NE and SW corners and a machicolation in the west wall protects the doorway.
The castle was known as Killowney until the early 18th century until the landlord, Wellington, built a house just to the SW. This became known as Castlewellington, which was later modified to Castle Willington, which name is now applied to all the buildings on the site. This house, which was built c1730, is a three-storey three-bay structure. About 100 years after its construction a projecting three-storey single-bay block was added at the west end. This is built in the tower-house style with crenellations, crenellated tourelles at the corners and square hood-moulds over the windows.
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