Nenagh Castle




N 52° 51' 54.36"   W 008° 11' 53.82"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

R 86648 79375

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Sunday 19 June 2016

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The cylidrical tower is all that remains of the castle of Nenagh. Seen from the north.

This cylindrical structure is all that remains of a fortress consisting of a keep, or cylindrical tower, a bawn wall and a gatehouse to the southwest. Part of the gatehouse is still visible to the side of the keep, but it's incomplete and on the day of our visit it was fenced off for restoration works.
The keep has a diameter of about 15.50 metres at the base and apparently it rises to a height of about 30 metres and is the best preserved and finest cylindrical keep in the whole country.
It was built starting around 1200 by Theobald FitzWalter, first of the Butlers of Ormond, and was finished in 1220. Some alterations were made later in the same century. It was the seat of the Butler family until 1391.
In the 19th century it was raised with the addition of the crenellated parapet and the opening of the windows on the top floor.
The main doorway is in the north-northwest (340°) side.
The gatehouse on the southwest side of the fortification had two flanking towers with a rectangular building at their back. The access was protected by a drawbridge and a portcullis. Today only a fragment the southernmost of the two flanking towers survives and the rectangular building is in bad conditions. To the east of the keep there is a short segment of what once was the bawn wall and traces of this wall departing from the northwest side of the keep are still visible. On this same side, high on the wall, is a machicolation.
Unfortunately on the day of our visit it was pouring rain and we were much disturbed by it.

We came here for the first time on June 12th, 2001.

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