If you are looking for a unique and historic place to visit in Galway, you might want to check out Fiddaun Castle. This impressive tower house is located near the village of Tubber, close to the border of County Clare. It is a National Monument of Ireland.
Fiddaun Castle was built in 1574 by Sir Roger Gilla Dubh O’Shaughnessy, a powerful chieftain who ruled over the Kiltartan barony. The castle was part of a network of four O’Shaughnessy castles that guarded the western parts of their lands. Fiddaun Castle was the largest of them all, covering almost 12 acres within its outer walls.
The castle consists of a six-storey tower house with a vaulted basement, a spiral staircase, a great hall, and several chambers. The tower house is surrounded by an inner bawn wall with four corner towers and a gatehouse. The inner bawn wall is remarkably well preserved and has many features such as gun loops, arrow slits, and machicolations.
The castle witnessed many turbulent events in its history. It was attacked by the Earl of Thomond in 1597 and by the Earl of Clanricarde in 1642. It was forfeited in 1697 when Sir William O’Shaughnessy, who was only 15 years old, fled to France to fight for the Jacobite cause. He later became a Marshal of France in 1734. The castle was inhabited by O’Shaughnessy’s until 1727, when it was abandoned and fell into ruin.
Today, Fiddaun Castle is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the past. It is located on private land and can only be accessed with permission from the landowner. It is maintained by the Office of Public Works and is open to the public during certain times of the year. If you are lucky enough to visit this castle, you will be amazed by its beauty and history.
It’s not easy to get to but when you do it’s so worth it. Stop at Fiddaun house, near Tubber and you can get the castle keys there and directions.