Irish Castles

Revealing a 17th century town: Exciting discoveries at Dunluce, Co. Antrim

Dunluce Castle by Shanliss Snapper

A team of archaeologists, which includes Dr. Colin Breen of the University of Ulster and Andrew Gault of the NIEA, are...Read More »

Guiding ships for 800 years: Hook Lighthouse, Co. Wexford

Hook Head Lighhouse by Andrea Mucelli (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 The iconic Hook Head lighthouse represents one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world.  It stands on the very tip of the windswept Read More »

Lost and Found: Excavations at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Archaeologist Alva Mac Gowan describes the recent exciting discoveries at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin.

On Friday the 19th of September I received an email from an old friend and fellow archaeologist, Antoine Giacometti of Archaeology Plan, which simply read, ‘Call me, I have...Read More »

Jenning's Castle, Castlegrove, Co. Galway

I recently visited the very well preserved remains of a tower house at  Castlegrove near Tuam, Co. Galway. Known locally as Jenning’s Castle, the fortress was built by the de Burgo (Burke) family, most likely during the 16th century. It was to...Read More »

Irish Castles and Forts in Photos

Here is a selection of some of the fantastic images that have been entered into our Photography Competition, this time with an emphasis on Castles and Forts. All of the images used in this blog post are copyright of the respective photographers, please...Read More »

The Rock of Dunamase, Co. Laois

From the top of a large limestone outcrop in county Laois, the imposing fortress at the Rock of Dunamase dominates the surrounding landscape.  It is strategically located, overlooking an important route between counties Carlow and Laois, and as result the castle played an important role in the early Anglo-Norman expansion in...Read More »

An Ancient Stone Fort on the Dingle Peninsula: Cathair na BhFionnúrach

Located in the shadow of Mount Brandon and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Cathair na BhFionnúrach is situated on the very western edge of Europe. Accessed via an old, grass covered laneway, the fort consists of a circular, stone-walled enclosure, approximately 29m...Read More »

Dunmore Castle, Co. Galway

The imposing ruins of Dunmore castle tower above the rolling fields of north Galway. Situated on a small hillock, the first castle at this site was built by the Anglo-Norman de-Birmingham family in the early 13th century. Designed as a bulwark against the native Irish, the castle was soon...Read More »

Kilgobbin castle, Stepaside, Co. Dublin

The ruined and overgrown remains of Kilgobbin castle stand in the shadow of the Dublin Mountains. Located in an area that was on the very periphery of English control for much of the medieval...Read More »

Slade Castle, Co. Wexford

Slade castle. Located in the picturesque fishing village of Slade on the Hook Peninsula in Co. Wexford this remarkably well-preserved castle was built by the Laffan family.  Of Anglo-Norman stock, the Laffans were among the first wave of colonists to arrive in Ireland after Richard de Clare’s...Read More »

Moated sites; defended homesteads of the 13th and 14th centuries


Moated site after W. Colfer

Moated sites are rectangular shaped enclosures that are primarily associated with the 13th and 14th century Anglo-Norman colonisation of Ireland.  They were most likely the homes of minor lords and well-to-do tenant farmers and would have formed the focal...Read More »