Harry Avery’s Castle, Tyrone, Ireland

The two towers that remain at Harry Avery’s Castle, on an outcrop overlooking the Mourne Valley, gives us a intriguing hint of how impressive this stronghold would once have been. It is believed the castle was built in 1320 by a local chieftain of the O’Neill clan named Henry Aimhriédh O’Neill, hence the rough Anglicisation into Avery. O’Neill died on the feast of St Brendan, May 16th, 1392 and was noted for his justice, nobility and hospitality in the Annals of the Four Masters, they named him as ‘Enrí Aimhreidh mac Neill Móir Uí Néill’. The two D-shaped towers that remain would have served a similar function as a towerhouse, the courtyard of the castle would have been accessed by climbing a flight of stairs. The remnants of the foundations of a curtain and also the mound on which the castle was built are evident. The castle was captured by English forces in 1609 and its stonework was quarried for building material hence its ruinous state. However sparse the remains they are charming and give great views over the Mourne Valley.

GPS: 54.71335, -7.39306

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