Oranmore Castle




N 53° 16' 06.0"   W 008° 56' 05.6"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

M 37671 24602

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Monday 10 September 2012

GPS Accuracy (m)

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The footpath that leads to the castle.

Oranmore Castle was built around the 15th century probably on the site of an older castle. It was a stronghold of the Clanricardes, a prominent Norman family of Galway. In the 16th century Henry VIII granted the title of Earl of Clanricard to the family member of that time.
In March 1642 there was a revolution in town and the people joined the Confederate Ireland. The 5th Earl of Clanricarde and the Marquess placed a garrison in Orannmore castle, and from here they supplied the Fort of Galway from the sea until 1643, when Captain Willoughby Governor of Galway surrendered both fort and castle.
In 1651 the castle surrendered to the Parliamentary forces. All the Marquess’s properties were confiscated, but his successor, the 6th Earl of Clanricard, had most of them back including the castle.
During the following centuries the castle was owned by different families.
The Blake family built a house against the south side of the castle, but when the Blakes left the town, the house fell in ruins. The castle remained unroofed until 1947 when it was bought by Lady Leslie, a cousin of Churchill and wife of Sir John Randolph Leslie, the Irish writer.
Lady Leslie restored the roof of the castle and gave it to her daughter, Mrs Leslie King, a writer known as Anita Leslie.
Between 1950 and 1960, Mrs Leslie King and her husband William Donald King, added a two storey wing linked to the castle by a single storey range.
The castle is currently occupied by Leonie King (daughter of Anita and William King) and her husband Alec Finn, co-founder of the music band De Danaan.
The castle is a private dwelling, the visitors are welcome daily only from June to August.

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