North Clare and the Burren.
Built by Donnchadh O'Connor in 1422, later the property of the O'Briens.
Lies to the north of Lahinch.
A short distance away from Doolin. The castle is an unusual structure
consisting of a circular tower in a small bawn (walled enclosure). It has
recently been restored
The ruined castle was originally built in the 12th century by the O'Connors,
later becoming a O'Brien stronghold occupied by Sir Turlough O'Brien during
the threatened invasion at the time of the Spanish Armada (1588).
Ballynalackan Castle, 5 km to the north of Doolin, is a reasonably well preserved
15th century O'Brien tower house with walled enclosure or bawn. Its location, on a
low rock-cliff overlooking the road affords magnificent views of land and sea alike.
An occupied squat tower house part dated from the 13th century, which was
originally owed by the chief of the Loughlens, Prince of the Burren. Up until
the end of the 16th century Burren was known as the Barony of Gregans. There
are 10 acres of tranquil woodlands in the grounds.
2 km along the road from Ballyvaughan to Lisdoonvarna, Newtown Castle is a
curious circular tower house rising 5 storeys from a square "pyramidal" base.
Built in the 16th century the castle passed from the O'Briens to the O'Loghlens.
Not far from Ballyvaughan is a much dilapidated O'Loghlen castle built in the 15th century.
4.5 Km away from Fanore is a 16th century tower house occupied until about 1840 by
the O'Loghlen family, chieftains of the Burren. To the East of the castle is a
fulacht fiadh, or ancient cooking place.
(Léim an Eich or Fheidh - Leap of the horse or deer)
Between Killinaboy and Kilfenora. One of the principal O'Brien strongholds,
it figures highly in the history of Clare and the O'Brien fortunes. The towerhouse
or castle at the east end was built in 1480 by the father of Sir Donal O'Brien.
The adjoining house, a striking 17th century four-storey was built by Conor O'Brien,
(husband of the famous Maura Rua MacMahon), about 1640.
An ornamental gateway dated 1643, together with a stone fireplace, were removed to
Domoland, the main O'Brien residence, during the 19th century.
The two castles on Lake Inchiquin, near Corofin were O'Brien strongholds.
(Both are unfortunately now in ruin.)
The remains of a MacMahon castle, captured in 1599 by the Earl of Thomond
and given to his brother, Donal O'Brien, predocessor of the Viscounts Clare
of Clare's Dragoons fame. (The Dragoons were part of the late 17th and 18th
century Irish Brigade of exiles in the French Army). The castle later passed
into the hands of the Burton family after the Williamite wars.
Close to Doonbeg are the remains of a 15th-16th century castle of the MarMahons
clan, descendants of Brian Boru.
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