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Rockfleet Castle
 

County

Mayo

Coordinates

N 53° 53' 46.2"   W 009° 37' 37.5"

Nearest town

Newport

Grid Ref.

L 93087 95300

Map No.

31

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

1

Date of visit

Monday 30 May 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

5
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The castle seen from the northeast. Down the slipway in the foreground there used to be a blue boat, featured in thousands of photos and postcards. We also had seen it in 1997, but this time it wasn't there.


I think this is one of the most photographed tower houses of all Ireland. Photos of this castle with a blue boat in the foreground and Clew Bay in the background can be seen all over. And I'm pretty sure that when we came here on April 24th, 1997 I took a photo of it with the typical boat.
Unfortunately this time the castle was undergoing a massive restoration and a scaffolding was wrapping the tower almost completely and the grounds around the tower were fenced off.
This was the dwelling of the Burke family in the 16th century, but in 1566 it was passed by marriage to the famous pirate queen Grace O'Malley that made it her main stronghold. Captain William Martin, sheriff of Galway, and his men led an attack and siege to the castle in 1574, but Grace fought them off.
As a elder woman she settled permanently in the castle with her followers and hundreds of cows in the surrounding lands.
I know that the tower can be accessed and visited, but this means we'll have to be back for the third time.


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