If you are looking for a historical attraction that will transport you back to the 15th century, you might want to visit Derrydonnell Castle. This castle is a six-storey tower house that was built by the Clanricarde, a powerful branch of the Burke family that ruled over much of Connacht. The castle’s name comes from the O’Donnell clan, who spent the night there before their attack on Athenry in 1577.
Derrydonnell Castle is located near the town of Athenry, about 20 km east of Galway city. It is surrounded by a bawn, a defensive wall that enclosed the castle and its courtyard. The bawn also contains a dungeon, which adds to the mystery and intrigue of the place. Who were the prisoners that were kept there? What were their crimes and fates?
The castle is now in ruins, but you can still admire its impressive structure and imagine how it looked like in its heyday. You can also enjoy the scenic views of the countryside. The castle is not open to the public, but you can see it from the nearby train that passes. Should you wish to visit the castle you will need to seek the landowner’s permission to explore it.
Derrydonnell Castle is one of the many castles that dot the landscape of Galway, each with its own story and charm. If you are a fan of castles, you will not be disappointed by the variety and beauty of these historical attractions. As they say, if only those walls could talk…
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