County Offaly

Clonmacnoise Castle, County Offaly

The Castle stands next to the famed monastic city overlooking the River Shannon which is in itself one of  Ireland's most historic sites.

The Castle was relatively unimportant in comparison.  It started life as a motte and bailey, and the earthworks still dominate today.  This was early in the Norman period and the site is an obvious one, overlooking a great loop in the Shannon on one of the safer routes across the great central bog of Ireland.

During the following century a keep was built on the motte and the whole was surrounded by a curtain wall with a Gatehouse.  This was all blown to pieces by the English in 1650, probably as a result of Cromwell's invasion plans for Ireland.  All that remains today are a few sad chunks of masonry atop the motte.

The Castle is accessible by public footpath and is worth a quick glance whilst you are visiting the marvels of Clonmacnoise.

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