Clonony Castle




N 53° 14' 09.0"   W 007° 55' 22.32"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

N 05149 20609

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Friday 14 June 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The castle behind its bawn wall, on the northeast side of the R357, seen from the southwest.

We came to this castle for the first time in July 1994, and at that time the castle was for sale.
We drove by it several more times, but the gate was always closed.

Not this time.
We were welcomed by the owner who showed us the castle around. All floors have been restored and furnished with ancient items that gives the place a real medieval feeling. The owner's dog came along with us during the tour.

The castle is on the northeast side of R357 and easily accessible through a doorway in a crenellated bawn wall with corner towers. A machicolation is above the doorway.
The tower house is in the middle of a court, and has been built on a low rocky outcrop.

The castle was built in the Tudor style at the beginning of the 16th century by the MacCoghlans.
At some point in history, shortly after its construction, the MacCoghlans ceded the castle to King Henry VIII who, in turn gave it to Thomas Boleyn, the man that became King Henry VIII's father in law when Henry married Anne. Giving the castle to Thomas was a way for Henry to have Anne as his wife. Along with the castle, Henry granted Thomas the surrounding lands and the title of Earl of Ormond.

In the grounds of the castle is also present a tomb slab that was found nearby in the area. The slab was the burial marker for Elisabeth and Mary Bullyn (Boleyn), two cousins of Queen Elizabeth's, who lived their whole life at the castle.

The entrance to the tower house is on the southwest (240°) side, where there's an inner bawn wall that was built in the 19th century.

The castle is also known for the presence of a ghostly figure that sometimes can be seen on the top of the tower.

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