Roscommon Castle, Roscommon, Ireland

Roscommon Castle was built in the latter part of the 13th century by the Anglo-Norman night Roger de Ufford. Roger, who was also chief governor of Ireland under Henry II commenced building of the castle in 1269. During its construction the castle was attacked several times by Aedh O’Conor, King of Connaught. The castle was only completed after the death of de Ufford. The attacks from native Irish clans continued and the O’Conors eventually took control of it around 1340 and maintained their presence at the castle for over two hundred years. During the early years of the castle it was surrounded by a moat.

In 1569 the then leader of the O’Conors named Don Diarmaid mac Cairbre surrendered the castle to Sir Henry Sidney the then Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1577 the building and over 17,000 acres were granted to Sir Nicholas Malby by the English government, Malby was the Governor of Connaught at the time. Malby made dramatic alternations to the castle, wishing to convert it into a Renaissance fortified mansion, it was during this time the large mullioned windows, which still can be seen, were inserted into the castle’s upper floors. A pond and tree lined gardens were added to the property. Malby died in 1584 and his son inherited the property until his death in 1603 at the battle of Aughrim. The castle continued to be attacked most ferociously by High O Donnell in 1596 and 1599. During the Confederate Wars of the 1640s the castle changed many times but was taken by Cromwellian forces in 1652. The castle fell into decay during the 1690s, damaged during the Williamite wars and has remained in ruin ever since.

Roscommon castle is a striking ruin and credit must be given for the disability access ramps leading into the structure which just show how easily it can be done without affecting the appearance of the structure to any huge degree.

GPS: 53.63529, -8.19355

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