Cloonboo Castle is a 15th century tower house that stands in ruins near the village of Cloonboo in Galway. Cloonboo Castle was built by the Skerritt family, one of the fourteen tribes of Galway, who were prominent merchants and mayors in the city. The castle was later held by Moyler MacShean in 1574, a local chieftain who resisted the English rule in the 16th century. The castle was eventually abandoned and fell into decay, but some of its features can still be seen today, such as the entrance on the north side, the corbels of a former machicolation that project from the parapet, and a partial spiral staircase.
Cloonboo Castle is located on the edge of Lough Afoor, a small lake that divides Cloonboo and Mace townlands. The lake is also of archaeological interest, as it may contain two possible lake dwellings or crannógs, which are artificial islands built in prehistoric times for habitation or defense. These sites are not visible today due to a rise in the water level, but they were marked on the 3rd edition of the Ordnance Survey map in 1934.
Cloonboo Castle is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from a distance from the roadside or with the landowner’s permission. It is a reminder of the turbulent past of this region, and a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of its people.
Not a public building. On private property
Not open to public.