Ballynacourty Castle is a medieval castle located near the village of Clarinbridge in County Galway. It was built by Richard de Burgo, a Norman lord who conquered much of Connacht in the 12th century. The castle was part of his manor of Athenry, which he established as his main base in the west of Ireland.

The castle is a typical example of a hall-house, a type of fortified residence that was common in Ireland and Britain in the 12th and 13th centuries. A hall-house consisted of a rectangular stone building with a large hall on the upper floor and a basement or cellar below. The hall was the main living and dining area, where the lord and his family entertained guests and held court. The basement was used for storage and sometimes as a prison. The hall-house was usually surrounded by a bawn, a walled enclosure that provided additional protection and space for outbuildings, gardens and livestock.

Ballynacourty Castle underwent several alterations in the 16th century, when it was owned by the Burke family, descendants of Richard de Burgo. They added a tower house to the south-east corner of the hall-house, creating an L-shaped complex. A tower house was a taller and narrower type of castle that became popular in Ireland in the late medieval period. It had several floors connected by a spiral staircase, with small windows and loopholes for defence. The tower house at Ballynacourty Castle had a vaulted ground floor, a first-floor hall with a fireplace and a garderobe (a latrine), and two upper floors with bedrooms.

The castle fell into ruin after the 17th century, when it was confiscated by the English crown during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The castle was eventually abandoned and left to decay and fall to ruin.


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Ballynacourty Castle



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