CASHLAUNDARRAGH CASTLE / RYEHILL CASTLE
If you are looking for a hidden gem of Irish history, you might want to visit Cashlaundarragh Castle, also known as Ryehill Castle, near Monivea in Galway. This 15th century tower house was built by the O’Kelly family, one of the ruling clans of Connacht, and later it was recorded in 1574 that the castle was held by Ullick Lynch of the prominent Lynch family, one of the fourteen tribes of Galway. The castle is now in ruins, but you can still admire its impressive structure and imagine how it looked in its heyday.
Cashlaundarragh Castle is located on a small hill overlooking a stream and surrounded by fields and trees. It has four storeys and a rectangular plan, with a spiral staircase in one corner and a vaulted ceiling on the ground floor. The walls are about 1.5 meters thick and have several narrow windows and loopholes. The castle also has a bawn, or an enclosed courtyard, with a gatehouse and some outbuildings.
The castle was part of the complex network of fortifications that protected the O’Kelly territory from invaders and rivals. It witnessed many battles and sieges over the centuries, especially during the Tudor conquest of Ireland and the Cromwellian invasion. The castle was eventually abandoned and fell into decay, but it still retains some of its original features and charm.
Cashlaundarragh Castle is not open to the public, but you can view it from the road or from a nearby farm. It is located on private property, so please respect the owners’ privacy and do not trespass without permission. Cashlaundarragh Castle is a fascinating example of medieval architecture and history in Ireland. It is worth a visit if you are in the area and want to explore some of the lesser-known castles of Connacht.
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