Moyode Castle is a 16th-century fortified tower house located near Athenry in County Galway. Moyode Castle has a rich and turbulent history, as well as a remarkable restoration story that makes it a rare example of a medieval castle brought back to life.

Moyode Castle was built around 1575 by the Dolphin family, who were originally of Norse descent and came to Ireland with William de Burgo, the founder of the powerful Burke clan. The castle was a stronghold of the Burke family, who ruled over much of Connacht for centuries. The castle consists of a four-storey tower with a vaulted basement, a spiral staircase, and several fireplaces and windows. It also has a bawn wall with two corner towers and a gatehouse.

The castle witnessed many conflicts and changes of ownership over the years. In 1641, it was besieged by the Irish rebels during the Confederate Wars. In 1691, it was surrendered to the Williamite forces after the Battle of Aughrim. In the 18th century, it was leased to the Persse family, who built a new mansion on the estate in 1820. The mansion was home to the famous Galway Blazers foxhounds, and hosted many distinguished guests, including King Edward VII.

However, the mansion was burned down by the IRA in 1920, during the War of Independence. The original tower house had fallen into ruins by then, but it was saved from destruction by the American historian James Charles Roy, who bought it in 1969 and began a painstaking restoration project. Roy spent decades researching and restoring the castle, using authentic materials and techniques. He also collected many historical artifacts and documents related to the castle and its inhabitants.

Today, Moyode Castle is one of the best-preserved tower houses in Ireland, and a testament to Roy’s passion and dedication. The castle is privately owned and is not open to the public unless invited or with permission.


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Moyode Castle



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