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Craggaunowen Castle
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 52° 48' 39.78"   W 008° 47' 36.9"

Nearest town

Quin

Grid Ref.

R 46499 73637

Map No.

58

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

40

Date of visit

Thursday 13 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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As the castle looks like from the entrance of the open-air museum.


This tower house was built by John MacSioda MacNamara around 1550. John was a descendant of the builder of Knappogue Castle in 1467.
Craggaunowen Castle was confiscated at the end of the Cromwellian campaign in Ireland in 1653 but, unlike other Irish castles, it wasn't handed over to a supporter of the campaign, it was rendered uninhabitable and indefensible, and left as a ruin.

Tom Steele, a confederate of Daniel O'Connell, inherited the castle and its estate in 1821 and he started rebuilding it soon after. After his death the castle went to his niece Maria Studdert, who later handed it to the Irish Land Commission which left it fall in ruins again, until 1960's when the historian and antiquarian John Hunt restored it as it is now.

Today the castle is part of an open-air museum which reconstructs many of the prehistoric features of Irish history.

The tower house has 5 storeys and has an entrance on the northeast (35°) side.
All floors of the castle are completely restored and furnished, giving visitors a clear idea of what the life in a castle was.

The castle appears in the opening credits of the movie "Guns in the Heather", by Robert Butler. In those scenes the castle appears as still unrestored.


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