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Buttevant Castle
 

County

Cork

Coordinates

N 52° 13' 39.12"   W 008° 40' 07.92"

Nearest town

Buttevant

Grid Ref.

R 54305 08631

Map No.

73

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

95

Date of visit

Friday 17 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The first sight of the castle at the end of the hidden path.


We were heading to see this castle when a local woman adviced us not to waste our time because the building is so badly neglected that it isn't worth the visit. She was critical and a bit angry about the way the ruins are mantained by the County Council.
Because we were in the area we wanted to take our chances and we walked to the castle all the same. The woman was quite right! The place is really neglected and overgrown.
That's a pity because the castle itself is rather nice. As we were approaching along a hidden path we saw a long wall with a square turret at one end and a circular tower at the other end. Both have crenellations. Walking around the build we saw the front wall, with two circular towers at the corners and kind of a gatehouse between them. All the openings at the ground level have been walled up with concrete blocks. Through the upper windows it's possible to see that nothing of the interior remains. The original plaster is still present on all walls.
The gatehouse has a short staircase and is looking southwest (205°). The southeast side of the building is unreachable because the thick vegetation creates an obstacle.
This castle was built around 1200 by the Barry family who were granted three baronies. It is also locally known as the Barry Castle. The fortification, which stands at the south end of the town of Buttevant, was part of the defensive structure of the settlement in medieval times, along with the town walls which were erected after 1317. These walls were badly damaged a few times during the centuries. The first time in 1382 when Murragh O'Brien attacked the town. Again in 1462 when the O'Briens of Thomond attacked the region. The town walls were damaged again during the Cromwell's invasion and during the Williamite War.
According to a legend an underground passage would connect this castle with the Friary.


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