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Lohort Castle
 

County

Cork

Coordinates

N 52° 09' 44.4"   W 008° 46' 56.76"

Nearest town

Mallow

Grid Ref.

R 46469 01455

Map No.

73

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

110

Date of visit

Friday 17 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The long pathway to the gatehouse down there.


This tower house stands proudly in the centre of the Lohort Demesne, an octagonal property to the south of the small village of Cecilstown. There's a 550 metres long dirt path to a padlocked iron gate. From here we walked for 450 metres to a gatehouse, the first sign that the tower house is near, only 120 more metres to the southwest.
The gatehouse has a wide pointed arch gateway with two large circular turrets on its sides and a crenellated top. The southeast turret is the less damaged, the other one misses all the crenellation. Both turrets have large mullioned windows. Above the gateway there's a plaque with a coat of arms with rampant deer and unicorn and the Latin motto "Sub Cruce Candida", which means "Under the White Cross".
The opposite side of the gateway has two smaller but higher turrets.
The tower house is 120 metres southwest from the gatehouse and was built in 1496 by Donogh Og McDonagh McCarthy. It's five storeys high with rounded corners and is about 25 metres tall. Its walls are 3 metres thick at the base but taper to a bit less than 2 metres at the top. The entrance doorway faces northeast (70°). The roof level has a continuous machicolation from the north-northeast corner all around counter clockwise to half length of the south-southeast wall. However the east-southeast corner of the tower house is protected by a bartizan.
It seems that the castle withstood and survived to many attacks and only the intervention of IRA in 1922 was successful in burning down the roof. The top of the tower house has some chimneys and stepped parapets.
The tower house has many mullioned double-ogee windows. Apparently some of the fireplaces from the Kanturk Castle were fitted in this castle during the restoration works in the 18th century by Sir John Percival. The castle changed hands a couple of times until a few years ago when it was sold on an auction and purchased by a rich Irish buyer. This is likely the reason why a no admittance sign has been posted on the last gate. All around the building there's a deep moat and the grass in the field was very high on the day of our visit, so any attempt to get closer to the tower house failed.


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