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Castles of Ireland
Feartagar Castle, Co. Galway

Feartagar Castle, Co. Galway A well-preserved tower built by the de Burgos in the 16th or 17th century. It has four storeys, the second of which is vaulted. There are two staircases in the walls. It got its name 'Jenning's Castle' because, as tradition states, several of its owners were called Eoin, anglicised John or Jenning. The last occupant who was a lady, was dispossessed by the Cromwellians.

Fiddaun Castle, Co. Galway

Fiddaun Castle, Co. Galway Fiddaun, which guarded the western frontiers of the O'Shaughnessy territory, dates from the 15th or 16th century. One of the five castles built by the O'Shaughnessys, they occupied Fiddaun from 1574 until Colonel William O'Shaughnessy fled to France in 1697.

Both castle and bawn are in excellent condition as the family on whose land these unique structures stand take a deep personal interest in preserving their heritage. No cars are allowed on to the land and it is quite a long walk into the castle, which is almost surrounded by soft boggy land. The ground and third floors of the castle are vaulted and there are mullioned windows and a fine fireplace on the third floor.

The last O'Shaughnessy to occupy Fiddaun was Lady Helena who died there in 1729. It is now a well preserved National Monument.

Castle Freke, Co. Cork

Castle Freke Co. Cork The hilltop castle is surrounded beautiful wooded hills, a castle lodge and the nearby village of Rathbarry, located between Clonakility and Rosscarbery, approximately 65 miles West of Cork City.

Records indicate it was originally owned by the Barrymore family and then became Seat of the Earl of Carberys, whose family name was Freke, since 1620. Other records indicate it was built by Arthur Freke in 1641.

All seem to agree it was first destroyed by Cromwellian forces in 1648. It might have been rebuilt of plain block circa 1780, but again all seem to agree it was altered and extended in Gothic style into a castelled mansion by Sir Richard Morrison circa 1820.

Now a Gothic ruin, it was stripped to a shell in 1952. The property was placed on the market in 1999 for a tourism development project. It is important that any reconstruction of the building reflects its quality and setting.