Belvelly Castle lies on the shore of Great Island in Cork Harbour, in County Cork in Ireland.
Belvelly Castle was built by the Hodnett family, an Anglo-Norman family who originated from Shropshire, England. This family came to this part of Ireland in the 12th century. The castle was probably built somewhere in the 13th century and guarded the ford linking Great Island to the mainland.
In 1329 the castle was taken from the Hodnetts by the more powerful De Barry family and shortly after, returned to them as a lease.
In 1581 Belvelly Castle came into the possession of Sir Walter Raleigh. He described the castle as 'broken down' and had it restored.
In 1636 the castle again came into the hands of the De Barry family and in 1647 Roger Boyle, the Earl of Broghill, garrisoned his troops here during the Confederate War.
The last occupant of Belvelly Castle was Sir Peter Courthorpe, from 1624 to 1650.
In the middle of the 19th century Belvelly Castle was already described as a ruin.
During the 1939-1945 Emergency, the castle was occupied by the army. The horizontal gun slits in the eastern and western walls of the tower date back to that time.
At present Belvelly Castle is actually for sale! For the price, interior pictures and plans take a look here: Premier Properties Ireland. This is a beautiful tower on a very nice location, too bad its interior can not be visited. The Belvelly Martello Tower lies ca. 100 meters to the west.