If you are looking for a historical attraction in County Galway, you might want to visit Dunmore Castle, a medieval tower house that dates back to the 13th century. Dunmore Castle is located 1 km northwest of Dunmore town, on the north bank of the Sinking River. It is a National Monument of Ireland and a testament to the turbulent history of the region.

Dunmore Castle was built by the Anglo-Norman de Birmingham family, who were granted lands in Connacht by Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster. The de Birminghams were one of the most powerful families in Ireland, but they also faced constant attacks from the native Irish clans, especially the O’Connors, who claimed to be the rightful kings of Connacht.

The first castle at Dunmore was burned down by the O’Connors in 1249 and again in 1315 during the Bruce campaign in Ireland. The current structure was probably built after these events, and it consists of a rectangular five-storey keep with a large base-batter. The castle has many features that show its defensive and residential functions, such as windows, chimneys, gables, garderobe and curtain wall.

The de Birminghams held Dunmore Castle until the Cromwellian era, when they rebelled against Queen Elizabeth I and lost their lands. The castle was then occupied by the Ouseley family, who were prominent landlords and preachers in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of them, Gideon Ouseley, was known as the “Apostle of Ireland” for his missionary work among the Irish Catholics.

Dunmore Castle fell into ruin in the 19th century, when a lime kiln was built on its site. The castle is now under the protection of the Office of Public Works, and it can be visited by the public. It is a fascinating place to explore and learn more about the history and culture of Galway.


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Dunmore Castle



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