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Listowel Castle
 

County

Kerry

Coordinates

N 52° 26' 40.0"   W 009° 29' 13.0"

Nearest town

Listowel

Grid Ref.

Q 98945 33547

Map No.

63

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

31

Date of visit

Thursday 27 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The castle is almost a garden feature in the beautifully kept green in the southwest side of the Square.


The fact that this castle is right in the centre of the town of Listowel makes it as a part of the urban landscape and it's almost invisible in the busy square where it stands. The beautifully kept garden at the front of the castle adds a bit of distraction and eventually the castle looks like a garden decoration rather than a medieval monument.
We came here for the first time on June 28th, 1994. The castle was in a sorry condition, with the side facing the square dirty and sad. The rear side was even worse. We didn't pay much attention to it, to be honest, we took one or two photos and moved on.
But this time we were even more disappointed. The castle was perfectly restored, the walls were cleaner, but the steel and concrete external staircase on the rear wall was a real eyesore! In addition, the building next to the castle on the south side is a DIY centre with a busy traffic of cars and customers, an insult to a momument which surely had better days. In one word, disgusting!
The current building is only a part of what once was the castle, with only two surviving corner towers joined by a curtain wall and a very tall arch on the northeast (30°) side. It's very similar to Bunratty Castle and in a certain way to Audley's castle.
The castle was built in the 15th century, presumably by the FitzMaurices, on the site of an earlier fortress of the 13th century.
It withstood a siege of 28 days in October 1600 and eventually it fell in the hands of Sir Charles Wilmot on November 5th, 1600, who subsequently executed the castle's garrison in the following days.
The ownership of castle passed to the Hare family who were granted the title of Earls of Listowel, until it was abandoned and fell into disrepair.
The castle has been restored by OPW and is now open to public. When we arrived, though, it was a bit late in the evening and the castle was closed.


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