Minard Castle is one of three towerhouses built on the Dingle Peninsula by the Fitzgeralds during the mid-16th century, the others situated at Rahinnane and Gallarus. The castle is believed to have been four stories in height, with the bottom two having vaulted ceilings, evidence of which can still be seen in the brickwork of the inner walls. The Castle holds a brilliant strategic position however it was not strong enough to withstand the might of Cromwell’s Forces. In 1640 the English forces led by Colonels Lehunt and Sadler had been pursuing an Anglo-Norman named Walter Hussey across the mountains from Castlegregory, it was at Minard that Hussey’s final battle was fought.
The Cromwellian forces placed their cannons inside an Iron Age Ring Fort at the opposite end of the bay, the heavy cannon fire swiftly damaged the east wall and Lehunt and Sadler had the upper hand. Things turned from bad to worse for Hussey’s men when the English noticed that the besieged Irish had ran out of ammunition and were firing bullets cast from pewter with little effect. Lehunt and Sadler’s men moved in for the kill, planting gunpowder under all four vaults of the castle. Walter Hussey and many of his men were killed immediately in the explosion that caused the upper stories of the castle to crumble. When the Cromwellian forces entered the tower house the remaining survivors were put to death and buried in shallow graves where they fell. Hussey’s body was only recognisable because of a single red sock that he wore. The castle remained uninhabited from that day forth.
Due to its stunning surroundings its not surprising that Minard was used in 1970 ass the backdrop for scenes from the Oscar Winning film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’, much of which was shot in and around the Dingle Peninsula.
GPS: 52.12601, -10.11046