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O'Doherty's Keep Castle
 

County

Donegal

Coordinates

N 55° 08' 23.34"   W 007° 27' 45.3"

Nearest town

Buncrana

Grid Ref.

C 34265 32627

Map No.

2

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

15

Date of visit

Sunday 17 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The tower house from roughly the south.


North of Buncrana, lost among the trees, near the right bank of River Crana, there's this three-storey tower house.
It was built by the Normans in the 14th century.
In 1601 it was inhabitated by Conor McGarret O’Doherty, but a year later Hugh Boy O’Doherty added a storey and restored the building, with the intention to use it as a base for the Spanish forces expected to arrive at Inch Island, about 6 km south of Buncrana.

The castle was burned in 1608 by the Crown forces in retaliation for the uprising of Sir Cahir O’Doherty.
He was a supporter of the Crown, but the way he felt he was treated by the local officials made him to start a rebellion. He seized the garrison town of Derry and killed his enemy George Paulet. Subsequently O'Doherty hoped to negotiate an agreement with the government, but the Viceroy in Dublin, Arthur Chichester, sent reinforcements to the area under the command of Richard Wingfield. They met the rebels at Kilmacrennan and O'Doherty was a killed by a musket shot to the head on July 5th, 1608.
At the Sir Cahir O’Doherty’s death the Keep was granted to Sir Arthur Chichester, who leased it to Englishman Henry Vaughan. The Vaughan family occupied the Keep until 1718, when Colonel George Vaughan, grandson of Henry, built the manor house today known as the Buncrana Castle. This castle was the first and most important early Georgian house in the Inishowen Peninsula.


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