Portora Castle lies just north of the town of Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland. It is situated in the grounds of the Portora Royal School for Boys.
Portora Castle was built on the edge of a hill above the narrows where the Erne River widens into Lower Lough Erne at the site of an ancient crossing place of the Erne River between Connacht and Ulster.
The present castle was built in 1613 by Sir William Cole, Constable of Enniskillen. It was one of many defensive castles constructed around the shores of Lough Erne between 1610 and 1619 to consolidate the Ulster Plantation in Fermanagh, like Monea Castle, Tully Castle and Castle Caldwell.
In 1619 the castle was described as a square bawn of lime and stone, with walls approximately 4 meters high, with 4 circular flankers and a stone house 3 storeys high.
In the 1620's the first long-time resident was Dr. James Spottiswood, Bishop of Clogher. But by the time of the 1641 Rising Portora Castle was an effective Enniskillen military outpost.
In 1710 Sir Michael Cole and his family moved to Portora Castle when their previous residence, Enniskillen Castle, was hit by fire. They remained there until about 1764, when they moved to their new residence Florence Court, built by Sir Michael's son, John Cole.
In 1859 truanting boys from the nearby Portora Royal School tried to blow up the derelict castle in a gunpowder experiment. They also made determined sapping and mining assaults on it, and more damage was done during a gale in 1894.
This is not a very spectacular castle ruin. But maybe one to visit when you are in town anyway to visit Enniskillen Castle. It is freely accessible.