Doe Castle




N 55° 08' 06.06"   W 007° 51' 51.78"

Nearest town


Grid Ref.

C 08646 37971

Map No.


Elevation a.s.l. (m)


Date of visit

Sunday 28 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

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From the car park there's a long path towards the castle.

It's a very nice and small castle built on a small peninsula at Sheephaven Bay. It consists of a four-storey tower house surrounded by a bawn wall.
It was built in the early 16th century by the Mac Suibhne na d'Tuath (or Mac Sweeney Doe), one of the Irish branches of the Clann Mac Suibhne (or Clan Mac Sweeney). Being on a peninsula it was surrounded by water on three sides, the fourth side was protected by a moat cut into the rock.
The castle changed hands several times during the fights between Irish and English.
One of the last owners was the General George Vaughan Harte, who carried out major and extensive repairs at the end of the 18th century. His initials, GVH, are inserted over the wall of the fortified building on the northeast side of the tower house, along with a plaque carrying his coat of arms.
The access is through a gateway on the west-southwest (255°) side of the outer wall. From here a protected passage takes to another gateway into a small courtyard where the tower house is. The machicolation above this second gateway has a carved stone head.
The tower house is very well preserved, with recently painted walls. It was built following the style of Scottish castles, because the Clann Mac Suibhne was of Scottish origins, from the region of Argyll. The tower house has a room on each floor and it's protected by another small fortified building with battlements and guard towers. This building was probably the dwelling for the soldiers.
The bawn walls have bartizans at every corner.

We came here for the first time on December 6th, 1995. Unlike this last visit, at that time the tower house was open to the public and we were able to go upstairs to the last floor.

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