Castles of south-western Ireland

Charles Fort, ©Joye~/Flickr

Charles Fort, ©Joye~/Flickr

Castles are fascinating remains of the past which are usually surrounded by a special historic and sometimes mythical atmosphere that attracts many visitors. In the south-western region of Ireland there are several castles as such which are well worth visiting. Some of them are more popular and can be quite busy and others are less crowded by the mass of tourists. Nonetheless all make part of the history of Ireland and are worth seeing. The many constructions are all built in different centuries and have different kind of appeals but each one is unique in its own way and offers something special for visitors.

Desmond Castle

Desmond Castle was constructed in the beginning of the 16th century by the Earl of Desmond and is an urban tower house consisting of three stories. During the 18th century the building served as a jailhouse. During the Great Famine it functioned as a workhouse.

Desmond Castle, ©edera/Flickr

Desmond Castle, ©edera/Flickr

In the beginning of the 20 century Desmond castle started to fall into decadence. In the year of 1938 however the building has become a national monument. In these days the castle gives home to the International Museum of Wine Exhibition which tells the story of Ireland’s wine links with the European continent and the rest of the world.

Barryscourt Castle

Another good example for an Irish tower house is the Barryscourt castle which belonged to the Barry family during the 16th century. The castle has been extensively restored and can be visited by tourists. The orchard, also restored, is designed to like one from the 16th century.

Charles Fort

This classic star-shaped fortress is the largest military building in Ireland which was built during the second half of the 17th century. The building was designed by architect William Robinson who also takes pride in other works such as the Royal Hospital of Kilmainham.

Charles Fort, ©Joye~/Flickr

Charles Fort, ©Joye~/Flickr

Charles Fort was an important historical figure who is associated with the Civil War in 1922-23 and the Williamite War in the late 17th century. The fort has been declared a National Monument in the year of 1973. In 1602 Paul Ive designed another for across the estuary which is called James Fort.

Ross Castle

Ross castle is a typical example for a middle age stronghold. Its foundation date is uncertain but it was likely constructed in the 15th century by an O’Donoghue Ross chieftain. Visit this castle furnished with oak furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Ross Castle

Derrynane House, ©gabig58/Flickr

Derrynane House, ©gabig58/Flickr

The Derrynane House was the home of an important historical figure, Daniel O’Connel, who was a politician, a statesman and a lawyer. The house is located on Kerry coast. The house exhibits several relics that belonged to O’Connell and tell the story of his life and career.

 

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