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Harry Avery's Castle
 

County

Tyrone

Coordinates

N 54° 42' 48.0"   W 007° 23' 35.04"

Nearest town

Newtownstewart

Grid Ref.

H 39110 85198

Map No.

12

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

120

Date of visit

Monday 18 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The ruins of Harry Avery's castle seen from the field gate at the east.


The remains of this castle are on a hill about 1 km southwest of Newtownstewart.
Its date of building is uncertain, but it is associated with Enri Aimhreidh ONeill (anglicised as Harry Avery O'Neill), a local Chieftain who died in 1392.
The top of the hill was crowned by a polygonal curtain wall which did not survive.
What we see today is a tower house with an entrance on its south-southeast (155°) side, flanked by two massive D-shaped towers that give the building the appearance of a gatehouse similar to the entrance of Castle Roche.

The castle had a vaulted basement accessed from the large doorway between the D-towers. Above the basement there was a hall on the first floor, with an access from the courtyard.
Both D-towers have a single rectangular window in their southeast side. This suggests they had rooms at that level.
In the southern D-tower there's trace of a garderobe, or latrine chute, going down and up, so a possible upper floor was possible.

During the Plantation of Ulster, the castle was captured by the English in 1609. Later on it was used as a convenient quarry for building material, leaving only ruins.

There are great views of the surrounding countryside from up here.


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