Rated 5.0 out of 5

Ballymaquiff Castle is a historic tower house that stands next to a railway line near Labane in County Galway. This castle was built by the De Burgo family, one of the most powerful Anglo-Norman families in Ireland, but records suggest that it was later sold to the Ffrench family, who were also prominent landowners in the region. The castle is believed to have been passed through the Ffrench family through the years with records stating the ownership of Christopher Ffrench in 1650 and Arthur French in 1675. Ballymaquiff Castle is a fine example of a medieval fortified residence, with features such as a murder hole, arches, staircases and windows that reveal the lifestyle and culture of its former inhabitants.

The castle is located on private land, so you will need to seek permission from the owner before approaching it. However, you can also admire it from a distance, as it is visible from the road and on the train. The castle has a rectangular plan, with four corner turrets and a projecting entrance in the northeast wall. The entrance leads to a hallway with a staircase on the right-hand side and a main hall straight ahead. The staircase has 22 steps in total, with a murder hole above the entrance that could be used to drop stones or boiling water on unwanted visitors. The main hall has a fireplace and two windows, one facing east and one facing west.

The most interesting room of the castle is on the first floor, which can be accessed by the staircase. This room has a vaulted ceiling with two arches that divide it into three sections. The central section has a large window that overlooks the railway line and the countryside. The northern section has another window and a fireplace, while the southern section has a spiral staircase that leads to the upper floors. The room also has several niches and recesses that could have been used for storage or decoration.

The upper floors of the castle are not accessible to visitors, as they are in a poor state of preservation. However, they would have contained more living quarters and perhaps a chapel or a solar (a private chamber). The roof of the castle is also missing, exposing the interior to the elements. Despite its ruinous condition, Ballymaquiff Castle still retains much of its original charm and character, and it is worth exploring for anyone interested in Irish history and architecture.

Ballymaquiff Castle is a small tower house which was built by the De Burgo (Burke) family. The ruin features a ground floor and second floor vaulting, a 5ft square hallway, stone staircase and a narrow round-headed cut-stone opening near the top of the north wall which points to the castle being a construction of the wealthy De Burgo family.


53.134084, -8.822135

Ballymaquiff Castle



5 out of 5 stars. Would storm again.

Rated 5.0 out of 5
June 21, 2023

My son found this one online. Potential to buy? If so, calling dibs.

We mounted the moors, battled the nettles, and eventually arrived at its lovely stone walls. (Mostly intact!)

Disturbed a lovely family of doves as we clattered about inside. Made many Holy Grail references and were generally very silly. Hope to return soon.

The Harrington Family of Fox Island WA