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Castles of Ireland
Leamaneh Castle, Co. Clare

Leamaneh Castle,  Co. Clare The ruined castle and manor house of Leamaneh lies at the junction of the Ballyvaughan, Corofin and Kilfenora roads. It was the residence of one Maire Rua, a formidable lady for that or any other time. She outlived three husbands, the third an officer in Oliver Cromwell's Army whom she married to safeguard her property. Another of Cromwell's officers, Edward Ludlow, is credited with what is probably the most widely used quotation about The Burren. He reached North Clare in 1651 and described the area as having"neither water enough to drown a man, nor a tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury him". All scandalous lies that The Burren has been trying to live down ever since.

Leighlinbridge (Black) Castle, Co. Carlow

Leighlinbridge (Black) Castle, Co. Carlow In 1180 Hugh de Lacy built the first castle here to defend the river crossing. This place has had an eventful history. During the fourteenth century, the Kavanaghs reclaimed most of their land including the castle in Leighlinbridge, which the Kings of England had to pay "Black Rent" for peaceful passage of the main road through Leinster, for one hundred and fifty years. Beside the castle was a Carmelite priory, founded in 1270 and the bridge across the Barrow incorporates much work of 1320. Come springtime, when the pink valerians are in bloom, covering the weather-worn stonework of the old bridge with a blush of flowers, you will pause and stop, and go back to look again. All that remains is the left half of the 14th century tower and part of the bawn.