Castles, stone towers, walls and other fortifications can be found all over Ireland. Some have been lovingly restored and others lie in
ruin, a broken mass of ruble the only
testament to their former greatness and importance.
Castles in Ireland were not elaborate dwellings of royalty. While it is true
most were owned by the heads of clans,
kings or titled English gentry, they were fortified dwellings, for protection
against raids and invaders. The vikings
extended the concept of fortified enclosures for protection by building walls
around entire villages or
towns with towers set in the walls at intervals to watch for enemies.
One thing you will notice, especially if you are American, is that the castles for the most part are not as big as you expect them to be.
They are dark since windows were few and just large enough so the inhabitants could see who might be approaching and to defend the castle. The rooms are small so that
the small fire might at least keep the bitterest cold and damp at bay.
A few have a great hall and many have their own chapel.
Many of the pictures and the information on the various castles have been sent
to me. In most cases I have no way to verify if there are copyrights on any text or images.
If you see any picture or information here you feel you own the copyright to
please contact me so that full credit can be given with links to your site.
I would like to especially thank Patrick Larkin of Castles of Ireland for the pictures, information and general
help with the castles of Galway along with
James Moats, owner of Castles
on The Web, for the use of his pictures and information on Irish Castles and
Shannon Development in Ireland for historical information and pictures of
several other castles.