Ross Castle

Ross Castle, sometimes also called O'Donoghue Castle, lies on the shore of Lough Leane in Killarney, in County Kerry in Ireland.

Ross Castle was built in the late 15th century by the local ruling clan the O'Donoghue Mor and it became their chief seat. By then the castle consisted of a rectangular tower house surrounded by a rectangular bawn with round towers on its corners. During the Second Desmond Rebellion in the 1580's it was acquired by the MacCarthy Mor. In 1588 it was mortgaged to Sir Valentine Brown, an English pay official.

In 1652, during the Irish Confederate Wars, the castle was held by Donough MacCarthy, Lord Muskerry, against a Cromwellian force of around 3500 men led by Edmund Ludlow. It finally surrendered, as one of the last Irish strongholds, after it was bombarded from boats on the lough, thus fulfilling an ancient prophecy that the castle would remain impregnable until attacked from the water.

At the end of the wars the Brownes proved they had not partaken in the rebellion and retained the lands and castle. By about 1688, they had erected a mansion house near the castle, for which they had to demolish the west section of the bawn wall, but their adherence to James II of England caused them to be exiled.

Ross Castle then became a military barracks. For this the Browne mansion house and all but the north section of the bawn were demolished and new extensions were built on the south side of the tower and bastions were built. Until 1825 2 companies of infantry were stationed here. After that it fell to ruin.

In 1970 the ruined castle was taken into state care and was recently partially rebuilt.

The castle grounds of Ross Castle are freely accessible. The interior of the tower can only be visited with a guided tour for a fee. Sadly enough the castle had just closed for the day when I arrived. A beautiful castle on a very nice location. Castlelough Castle is nearby.


Gallery

Ross Castle

Ross Castle, sometimes also called O'Donoghue Castle, lies on the shore of Lough Leane in Killarney, in County Kerry in Ireland.

Ross Castle was built in the late 15th century by the local ruling clan the O'Donoghue Mor and it became their chief seat. By then the castle consisted of a rectangular tower house surrounded by a rectangular bawn with round towers on its corners. During the Second Desmond Rebellion in the 1580's it was acquired by the MacCarthy Mor. In 1588 it was mortgaged to Sir Valentine Brown, an English pay official.

In 1652, during the Irish Confederate Wars, the castle was held by Donough MacCarthy, Lord Muskerry, against a Cromwellian force of around 3500 men led by Edmund Ludlow. It finally surrendered, as one of the last Irish strongholds, after it was bombarded from boats on the lough, thus fulfilling an ancient prophecy that the castle would remain impregnable until attacked from the water.

At the end of the wars the Brownes proved they had not partaken in the rebellion and retained the lands and castle. By about 1688, they had erected a mansion house near the castle, for which they had to demolish the west section of the bawn wall, but their adherence to James II of England caused them to be exiled.

Ross Castle then became a military barracks. For this the Browne mansion house and all but the north section of the bawn were demolished and new extensions were built on the south side of the tower and bastions were built. Until 1825 2 companies of infantry were stationed here. After that it fell to ruin.

In 1970 the ruined castle was taken into state care and was recently partially rebuilt.

The castle grounds of Ross Castle are freely accessible. The interior of the tower can only be visited with a guided tour for a fee. Sadly enough the castle had just closed for the day when I arrived. A beautiful castle on a very nice location. Castlelough Castle is nearby.


Gallery