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Annaghdown Castle is a 15th century tower house on the shores of Lough Corrib in County Galway. Annaghdown Castle has a rich and fascinating history that reflects the changing fortunes and conflicts of Ireland over the centuries.

Annaghdown Castle was built around 1440 by an Anglo-Norman bishop who was supported by the powerful De Burgo family, who had conquered much of Connacht from the native Irish clans. The bishop wanted to establish his authority and influence over the area, which was dominated by the ancient monastery of Annaghdown, founded by Saint Brendan in the 6th century. The monastery served as the cathedral of the O’Flaherty clan, who resisted the Anglo-Norman invasion and later became notorious as pirates on Lough Corrib.

The castle was a statement of the new order that challenged the old monastery. It was also a strategic stronghold that controlled the access to Galway city by water via Lough Corrib, which was the main route of trade and communication at the time. The castle was a typical Norman style tower house, with four stories and a vaulted basement. It had a bawn wall with a gatehouse and a moat for defense. The main door of the castle had a grate that could be pulled tight from the inside for extra protection.

The castle changed hands several times over the years. It was sold by the De Burgo family to the Lynch family, one of the Galway tribes, in the 16th century. The Lynches were wealthy merchants who imported wine and other goods from abroad. They modernized the castle in the 17th century style, adding windows, fireplaces, and plasterwork. They also built a manor house next to the castle, which is now in ruins.

The castle survived the Cromwellian and Williamite wars, but was abandoned in the 18th century when the Lynches moved to another estate. The castle fell into decay and was used as a quarry for building materials by the local people. It was also reputed to be haunted by ghosts and fairies.

In the 20th century, the castle was restored by its current owners, Jessica Cooke and Sean Faughnan, who bought it in 1997. They undertook extensive archaeological and historical research on the site, uncovering many interesting facts and features. They also made the castle habitable again, using traditional methods and materials. They live in the castle with their family and welcome visitors who are interested in learning more about this Irish castle, however the castle is still a private residence, so please respect their land and privacy.

Annaghdown Castle is not only a historical attraction, but also a scenic one. It is located on a beautiful spot overlooking Lough Corrib, which is one of the largest lakes in Ireland and a haven for wildlife and anglers. The castle is surrounded by lush green fields and woods, and has a view of the Connemara mountains in the distance. The nearby village of Annaghdown has a charming church, a pier, and a pub. There is also a holy well dedicated to Saint Brendan, where the monks used to go on procession for his feast day.

Annaghdown Castle is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into Ireland’s past and present. It is a place where you can enjoy history, nature, and hospitality in equal measure.


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Annaghdown Castle



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