The tall, narrow tower house of Aughnanure is under the care of Duchas, and has been restored as a showpiece. It's a lovely place, and the tower house is quite interesting, with a newly restored hipped roof . A number of large fireplaces and windows grace the upper floors, which were probably the lord's residence.
The castle lies along the Drimneen River near Lough Corrib. Walls surround most of the castle, but the lowest part of the castle grounds are open since the walls were destoyred. A round guard tower (and later a dovecote) stand alone at the end of the missing wall. The castle has a double bawn, a smaller wall inside the large one. Much of the outer wall is gone, and there is a river-entrance that apepars to be completely unprotected (which is unlikely, but the wals have not been reconstructed here). We believe it may have been a dry harbor leading into the outer bawn wall. If someone attacked, the garrison could retreat within the smaller, inner bawn. Supplies could come up the river, which passes under the rocky outcropping where the castle is built.
The inner bawn is wedge-shaped, with the remains of a gatehous and drawbridge on the NW corner. Most of the inner wall has been demolished except for a watchtower which marked the furthest corner. The outer ward is much larger, and had five towers along its length.
An earlier 13th century Norman castle may have stood on the site, which sits in a small islet in the river. The river splits around the castle, and rejoins further downstrream. The O Flaherty aclan ruled the area around Galway from the 8th century, but the Normans took the land around 1256 and built a castle here, probably by the first Earl of Ulster. By the end of the 13th century, the land was once again under Irish control.
lost in ireland 2005 travelogue and photos © rfingerson