CASTLETOWN CASTLE / KILTARTAN CASTLE
If you are looking for a historical attraction in County Galway, you might want to visit Castletown Castle, also known as Kiltartan Castle. This is a 13th century tower house that was once a stronghold of the De Burgo family, who ruled over much of Connacht. The castle is located in the civil parish of Kiltartan, about 2.8 km north of Gort, on the west bank of the Gort River.
The castle was built in the 1280s, during the reign of Edward I as Lord of Ireland. It was part of a network of fortifications that the De Burgos erected to defend their lands from the native Irish clans. The castle had a rectangular plan, with four corner towers and a central courtyard. It was surrounded by a moat and a curtain wall, and had a gatehouse on the east side.
The castle witnessed many turbulent events in Irish history, such as the Bruce invasion of 1315-1318, the Gaelic resurgence of the 14th and 15th centuries, and the Nine Years’ War of 1594-1603. It was also involved in the Confederate Wars of the 1640s, when it was held by Richard Burke, 4th Earl of Clanricarde, a loyalist to King Charles I. However, in 1652, the castle fell to ruin under cannon fire by Cromwellian troops, who were sent to crush the Irish rebellion.
Today, only two storeys partially remain of Castletown Castle, with a three-storey spiral stairway and numerous narrow slit defensive windows still to be seen. The castle is a National Monument of Ireland and is under state care. It is accessible to the public and offers a glimpse into the medieval past of County Galway.
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