Castles of Ireland

 

I was lucky to tour Ireland for the third time this spring, and saw more of its castles and ruins. I Merlin's Castlehad a wonderful guide, whose driving skills and patience gave me a first hand look at some of these fine ruins.

 

The first one was a short hike from my host’s home, and is aptly named Merlin’s Castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next was Ross Errilly Friary, founded in 1351. It is well preserved and gives a good feel of what Franciscan monastic life was like, lasting up until 1753.

 

 

 

Kilmacduagh Monastery is located near the town of Gort, and has a famous round tower, one of the highest and best preserved in Ireland. It’s notable for it’s lean, about a half meter off the vertical.

Kilmacduagh

Kilmacduagh

round tower

round tower

 

 

Poulnabrone Dolmen is a portal tomb dating from around 5,800 years ago. The remains of 21 people have been found inside. It’s located in the Burren, a Glacio-karst landscape, a barren setting of limestone on Ireland’s west coast.

Poulnabrone Tomb

Poulnabrone Tomb

 

 

Also in the Burren, though not quite a castle or ruin, in the iconic house of Father Ted, one of my favorite Irish comedies.

Father Ted's House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the sea coast of the Burren, near the town of Doolin, are the incredible Cliffs of Moher. 

Doolin Castle

Doolin Castle

 

A must see stop if you’re in the west of the country, the cliffs are awe inspiring, and not for the faint of heart.

Cliffs of Moher 2

Cliffs of Moher 2

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kilkenny Castle, in the charming town of Kilkenny, was built in 1195 by Norman occupiers on the banks of the River Nore.

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Just across the street is the lovely Dower House(mother-in-law’s residence) and nearby is St. Canice’s Cathedral with a well preserved round tower.

The Dower House

St. Canice's Cathedral

St. Canice’s Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dromoland Castle is now a luxurious hotel, but we were able to talk them into letting us take a look around. Said to be the ancestral home of the O’Brien’s, dating back 1000 years to the king Brian Boru, Dromoland has been through many renovations, the current buildings dating from around 1835.

Dromoland Castle 2

Dromoland Castle 2

 

Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle

arbor

arbor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Hope you’ve enjoyed this little excursion to the Emerald Isle and it’s sights. I’ll leave you with a photo of the author and his intrepid guide, Tess, at Ross Errilly, thanks!

 

Bob and Tess

Bob and Tess

 

3COMMENTS
  • KC Lukow

    Awesome pics of the Emerald Isle, Arbor and Doolin Castle are beautiful, Great pics of the Cliffs also.

  • Shane Murphy

    Lovely shots Bob. I’m glad you got to go to the Burren and the cliffs after all. It was great to meet you again after all these years! All the best. Shane

    • admin

      Thanks Shane, it was a good time and Tess is a lovely guide, good to see you again too!

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