Dromore Castle, Clare, Ireland

Dromore Castle, also known as O Brien’s Castle, located on a peninsula on the northern part of Dromore Lake is set in one of the most picturesque managed woodlands I have had the pleasure to visit. Not to be confused with its namesake nearby in Limerick, this castle lies within the nature reserve of Dromore Wood, north of Ennis. The woods cover an area of one thousand acres and is an incredibly rich and bio-diverse habitat with lakes, peatland, limestone karst pavement and woodlands. It is home to the rare pine marten, shrews, red squirrels and eight of the nine species of Irish bat, the perfect setting for this 16th century castle. Teige O’Brien is the first written owner and his name is above the doorway, but it seems he may have repaired and expanded an earlier castle on lands given to his father Connor in 1579. The inscription above the doorway stating, “This castle was built by Teige, second sone to Connor, third Earle of Thomond and by Slany Brien wife to the said Teige”. Teige’s son Dermot fought on the Irish Confederate side during the eleven years war and in March in 1642 he along with 40 of his musketeers took part on the siege of Ballyallla castle. The history of the castle is elusive but certainly brief, the last O’Brien, named Conor, leaving in 1689. It fell into ruin during the 18th century.

GPS: 52.92543, -8.96282

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