Moycola Castle is a medieval hall house located near Loughrea in Galway. The castle is believed to have been built in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman settlers who came to Ireland after the Norman invasion. The castle is now in ruins, but it still offers a glimpse into the past and a chance to appreciate the architectural and historical significance of this ancient site.
Moycola Castle was probably built as a residence and a stronghold for the local lords, who controlled the lands around Loughrea and Craughwell. The castle consists of a rectangular building with three stories, made of limestone rubble and lime mortar. The entrance is at the first floor level, and there are traces of windows, fireplaces, and vaulted ceilings inside. The castle was surrounded by a ditch or a moat, which provided additional protection and drainage.
The history of Moycola Castle is not well documented, but it is likely that it changed hands several times over the centuries, as different families and clans fought for power and influence in the region. The castle may have been associated with the de Cotterells, the de Cogeshales, the O’Concannons, or the de Birminghams, who were some of the prominent Anglo-Norman and Gaelic families in Galway. The castle may have also witnessed some of the turbulent events that shaped the history of Ireland, such as the Bruce invasion, the Cromwellian conquest, or the Williamite wars.
Today, Moycola Castle is a protected monument under the care of the Office of Public Works. The castle is accessible to the public, but visitors are advised to be careful as the structure is unstable and dangerous.
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