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Shrule Castle
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 53° 31' 10.74"   W 009° 05' 08.52"

Nearest town

Shrule

Grid Ref.

M 28002 52736

Map No.

38

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

34

Date of visit

Monday 10 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The castle seen from the southwest, on the N84. The building is in a field on the other side of a dry stone wall. On the road side there's a well kept green area with a flowerbed.


We drove through Shrule many times before, I wonder why we never stopped at this castle.
It's a rectangular tower house with chamfered corners and battered walls. It measures 18 metres on the north-northwest and south-southeast walls, and about 13 metres on the east-northeast and west-southwest walls.
At the roof level all corners have bartizans. There's a damaged doorway in the east-northeast (70°) wall, and there are windows on all sides but the south-southeast, where there's a large crack in the wall from the roof to the ground.

The castle was built in 1238 by Richard de Burgo, 2nd Earl of Ulster, on a land that King Henry II granted him. In 1308 Richard passed it on to his son John.
In 1570 the castle was captured by the force of Sir Edward Fitton along with the McDonnells of Knocknacloy. The de Burgo and the McDonnells of Mayo fought to gain the castle back, unsuccessfully. Anyway Sir Fitton was severely injured during the battle.

The interiors show more nooks and openings in the wall than one could expect. It is also possible to notice the presence of mural passages.

To my big surprise, when I walked in the castle I found out that the ruins are now the shelter for a flock of sheep. And because the weather was bad during my visit, and they were all inside the castle to protect themselves from the rain, they didn't appreciate my presence.


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