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Manorhamilton Castle
 

County

Leitrim

Coordinates

N 54° 18' 23.82"   W 008° 10' 44.58"

Nearest town

Manorhamilton

Grid Ref.

G 88348 39778

Map No.

26

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

69

Date of visit

Thursday 28 May 2009

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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A section of the castle.


The castle is in the centre of the town of Manorhamilton and is currently undergoing a heavy restoration.
The castle was built in 1634 and 7 years later there were 2 cornmills and the nucleus of a small village around it.
All the photos have been taken from the gate because the site was closed to the public on the day of our visit.

UPDATE: June 2nd, 2014 - We were heading north, we drove through Manorhamilton and stopped to take some more photographs of this site.
The restoration works are still going on, though the castle can be visited upon booking.
The first four photos in this page are from the first visit.

UPDATE: June 4th, 2019 - Driving through Manorhamilton we noticed that the castle was open to visitors, it was the first time we saw the gates open in so many years. It is clear that we always came to the castle at the wrong time or day.

This castle was built in 1634 by Sir Frederick Hamilton, who came from Scotland during the Plantation and was well known for his cruelty and for the habit of hanging people out of the castle walls. The land on which the castle was built was seized from the O'Rourke family and this would result in an almost constant war with a few attacks from the O'Rourke's to the castle.
After one of these attacks, in a sign of retaliation, in 1642 Sir Frederick Hamilton attacked and sacked the town of Sligo, where he also burned the abbey and killed the monks in it.
This castle was attacked again in 1643, without success. But only four years later Sir Hamilton lost possession of most of the lands he had in Ireland and was forced to return to Scotland where he died.
In 1652 the castle suffered a new attack during which it was burned down by the Clanricardes.

What we see today is a ruinous shell of a mansion with two wings separated by a court and a back building.
In the walls we can see lots of fireplaces and windows.
The rear walls facing north-northwest (345°) are in bad conditions, with the masonry badly exposed.

Opposite the castle, in the car park, there's a small building acting as kind of a museum.

The first four photos in this page are from the visit in 2009, the photos from number 5 to number 11 are from the visit in 2014, the remaining photos are from the visit in 2019.


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