Corofin Castle is a mid-15th century tower house located in the village of Corofin in County Galway. This castle, which was built by Lord Clanricarde in 1451 for Emelina De Burgo (Burke), is now partly in ruins, but still retains its medieval charm and character.
Corofin Castle was built by Richard de Burgh, also known as Lord Clanricarde, in 1451. He was a powerful Anglo-Norman lord who ruled over much of Connacht and Munster. He built the castle as a stronghold to defend his lands from the native Irish clans, such as the O’Flahertys and the O’Briens. The castle was also a residence for his family and a base for his administration.
The castle was attacked and besieged several times during its history, especially during the Tudor conquest of Ireland and the Cromwellian invasion. It was damaged by fire in 1599, when it was held by Richard Burke, a grandson of Lord Clanricarde. It was also captured and plundered by Sir Charles Coote in 1652, during the Irish Confederate Wars. After that, the castle fell into decay and was abandoned.
Corofin Castle is a typical example of a tower house, a type of fortified residence that was common in Ireland from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Tower houses were usually rectangular or square in shape, with four or five stories and a projecting turret at one corner. They had thick stone walls, narrow windows and loopholes for defense, and a wooden bawn or courtyard surrounded by a wall or ditch.
Corofin Castle measures about 13 meters by 10 meters at the base, and rises to about 18 meters in height. It has four stories and a garret or attic. The entrance is on the ground floor, on the east side of the building. It leads to a vaulted chamber that served as a storeroom or cellar. A spiral staircase in the turret connects all the floors.
The first floor has two rooms: a large hall that was used for dining and entertaining guests, and a smaller chamber that was probably a private apartment for the lord and his family. The hall has a fireplace, two windows and two garderobes or toilets. The chamber has one window and one garderobe.
The second floor has two rooms: a smaller hall that was used for meetings and ceremonies, and another chamber that was probably a bedroom or dressing room. The hall has a fireplace, two windows and one garderobe. The chamber has one window.
The third floor has one large room that was probably used as a dormitory or guest room. It has three windows and one garderobe.
The garret has one small room that was probably used as a watchtower or lookout. It has two windows.
In recent years, Corofin Castle was potentially subject to a restoration project with the intention of turning it into a retreat for other cancer patients and their families. However, no further progress has been made to date. As the castle is on private land, you should seek the landowner’s permission before visiting the castle up close.