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Enniskillen Castle
 

County

Fermanagh

Coordinates

N 54° 20' 45.18"   W 007° 38' 42.78"

Nearest town

Enniskillen

Grid Ref.

H 23067 44192

Map No.

17

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

50

Date of visit

Tuesday 19 June 2018

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The Enniskillen Castle seen from across River Erne.


An early castle was built on this site in 1428 by Hugh Maguire to guard and control this portion of the River Erne, one of the most important waterways in Northern Ireland.
The Maguire family resided in the castle for decades and withstood many attacks from other chieftains of the area, the O'Donnels and the O'Neills.
The castle played an important role during the Nine Years' War (also known as Tyrone's Rebellion) against the English Rule in Ireland. The castle was eventually taken by the English after an eight-day siege in 1594.
The defeat of the Irish during this war led to the Flight of the Earls on September 4th, 1607 and marked the beginnining of the Plantation of the Ulster.
During the Plantation, the castle was granted to Captain William Cole who remodelled and refurbished the building, and in 1614 added the two turrets on the southwest (215°) side, known as Watergate, though this side of the castle was never a gateway to the river.
The two turrets, have conical caps and are corbelled in the Scottish style.

Fearing an attack from the French in 1796, Enniskillen Castle was remodeled as "Castle Barracks", which much later, in 1853, became the home of the 27th Regiment of Foot in 1853. This regiment moved to a newly built facility in Omagh in 1875.
The Castle Barracks, however, were used by other regiments. In 1939 it became the home of the North Irish Horse, a Territorial Army Unit.
The Barracks were decommisioned in 1950 and converted in a council depot.
Today the area is the Fermanagh County Museum with displays on the county's history, archaeology and wildlife. It is also the Museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, telling visitors the long history of the 1689-born regiment whose emblem is the Watergate itself.

We visited this castle before, on December 10th, 1995, and on May 5th, 2002.


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