Castlelyons Castle, Cork, Ireland

Castlelyons Castle in the barony of Barrymore is the skeletal remains of an early 17th century castle. Castlelyons itself was originally named after the sept of Lehan who were situated there prior to the Anglo-Norman conquest. In the early 13th century the confiscated land was granted by King John to Philip de Barry who erected the first castle in 1206. The de Barry’s later became the Earls of Barrymore and in 1621 on the marriage of David Barry to Alice Boyle a new castle of limestone was built on the site of the earlier 13th century fortification. It was the Irish residence of the Barrymores until 1771 when it was burnt down in an accidental fire. The fire was attributed to two workmen who were carrying out repairs on the roof when the wooden beams caught alight. The castle was engulfed in flame and according to the reports at the time smouldered for almost three months. The castle was never repaired and the beautiful walled gardens that once stood in the shadow of the castle were destroyed on the orders of the earl.

Sadly the remains of the castle were ransacked for limestone in the years following the fire, however its precarious but striking ruins still stand to this day.

GPS: 52.0859, -8.23253

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