Cloghballymore Castle is one of the many castles that dot the landscape of Galway in the west of Ireland. The castle has a rich and fascinating history, dating back to the 16th century, when it was owned by the Kilkelly family, a powerful clan of Anglo-Norman origin. The castle later passed to the Blake family, another influential Anglo-Norman family who built a mansion manor house attached to the castle.

The castle is located in the townland of Cloghballymore, near Ballinderreen, in Galway. It is situated on a small hill overlooking a stream that flows into Galway Bay. The castle consists of a rectangular tower house with four storeys and a vaulted basement. The tower house has a projecting stair turret on the south-east corner and a corbelled machicolation on the north-east corner. The walls are about 1.5 metres thick and have several narrow windows and loopholes.

The mansion house, which was added in the 18th century, by Marcus Lynch, whose daughter Ann married Maurice Blake in 1815, is a two-storey building with a hipped roof and a central pediment. The house has large sash windows and a classical doorway with a fanlight. The house is connected to the tower house by a lower wing that has a round-headed window on the first floor. The Blake’s youngest son, Llewellyn Blake, inherited the mansion and the estate, which comprised 5,000 acres of land. Llewellyn Blake was a magistrate and a High Sheriff of Galway in 1886. He died in 1916 and left the mansion to The Society of African Missions for use as a seminary. 

The seminary operated until the 1950s, when it was sold and converted into a hotel, Cloughballymore Golf and Country Club. The hotel closed down in the 1980s and the mansion was left vacant for many years. In 2008, Aideen and Justin Scanlon, purchased the estate and restored it to its former glory and turned it into a nursing home. They renamed it Blake Manor Nursing Home in 2013 in memory of the historical Blake family who once lived there.


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Cloghballymore Castle



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