Old Crom Castle
Old Crom Castle, also known as just the Old Castle to distinguish it from its 19th century successor, lies on the east bank of Upper Lough Erne, west of the village of Newtownbutler, in County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland.
Crom Castle was built in 1611 by a Scottish planter, Michael Balfour. It was built as a tower house with a bawn equipped with round flankers. It was sold in 1619 to Sir Stephen Butler. In 1655 the castle and estate went to Abraham Crichton of Aghalane when he married the daughter of the previous tenant, the Bishop of Clogher. The castle withstood 2 attacks by the Jacobites in 1689.
In 1764 the tower house accidently burnt down whilst the Crichtons were away at a housewarming party at Florence Court. According to a tradition, the fire took place when Abraham Crichton was returning in his boat. Crichton saw a worrying glow in the sky to the south, and returned home to find his castle gutted.
In 1820 the Crichtons built a new Crom Castle, in Victorian style, some distance to the north of the Old Castle. The ruins of the Old Castle became a garden decoration and later that century additional walls and towers were added to it for romantic effect.
Opposite the ruins of Old Crom Castle, in the lough, is Gad Island on which stands a round tower. It looks medieval but it is not. It is a stone folly built as a famine relief project in about 1847, to serve as an observatory.
At present the Old Castle is still private property of the Crichtons but the estate and the ruins are managed by the National Trust and can be visited freely during daytime. A nice ruin on a tranquil spot. The estate is worth a visit.