Moyveela Castle is a 15th century fortified tower house that stands in ruins near the village of Clarinbridge. Moyveela Castle was built by the De Burgo (Burke) family, one of the most powerful Anglo-Norman families in Ireland, who ruled over large parts of Connacht and Munster. The castle was also home to the Browne family, who were descendants of the Burkes and held the title of Viscount Westport. The castle witnessed many turbulent events in Irish history, such as the Cromwellian invasion, the Williamite wars, and the Penal Laws.

Moyveela Castle is located about 3.5 miles west of Athenry, on a small hill overlooking the surrounding countryside. It is bounded by the roads from Athenry to Galway and from Galway to Dublin, which were important routes for trade and communication in medieval times. The castle consists of a three-storey rectangular tower with a projecting turret at one corner. The walls are made of limestone and are about 1.2 meters thick. The entrance is on the east side, protected by a machicolation (a projecting gallery with openings for dropping stones or boiling oil on attackers). The ground floor has a vaulted chamber with a fireplace and a spiral staircase leading to the upper floors. The first floor has a large hall with a fireplace and two windows. The second floor has two smaller rooms with fireplaces and windows. The turret has a narrow chamber with a window and a corbelled roof.

The castle is now in a state of decay, with most of the roof and floors gone, and some of the walls collapsed. However, it still retains some architectural features that reveal its age and style, such as the pointed arches, the mullioned windows, the corbels, and the loopholes.

Moyveela Castle is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from the roadside or with the landowner’s permission. The castle is listed as a national monument by the National Monuments Service, which means that it is protected by law and cannot be altered or demolished without permission. The castle is also part of the heritage and culture of Galway, as it reflects the history and identity of the people who lived there for centuries.


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Moyveela Castle



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