near Corofin, County Clare, Ireland
The castle is built on a rocky outcrop, 3 miles south of Corofin, and 7 miles north of Ennis in the west of Ireland.
Dysert O’Dea Castle is a fully restored castellated Gaelic Tower house built in grey stone over four floors. It is situated on an archaeological site with twenty five other field monuments.
Clare Archaeology Centre is now housed in the Dysert O’Dea Castle. Within the castle’s ten rooms are many displays of local artifacts dating back to 1000BC, a medieval carpenter and mason’s workshop and ‘The Modern History Room’ with objects from 1700AD up until 2000AD. The castle also has its own audio visual presentation and perhaps one of the most popular activities is the walk along the roof with views over the surrounding countryside.
Also on the site is the Dysert O’Dea church from the 12th century with the remains of a round tower and St. Tola’s High Cross. The cross also dates back to the 12th century and is said to be one of the finest examples of this kind of structure in Ireland. The castle is also part of the Archeology and History trail which takes in all twenty five points of interest within the site.
The castle has its own tearoom and bookshop and is open daily between 1st May to 30th September between 10am and 6pm.
It was on this site in 1318 that the Battle of Dysert O’Dea was fought and was responsible for the departure of the Anglo Normans from the area for over 200 years.
The castle was built some 162 years later, in 1480 by Lord Cineal Fearmaic, Dairnuid O’Dea and during the war with Cromwell sustained heavy damage.
In 1968 whilst on a holiday in the area an American, John O’Day, discovered the ruins of the castle up for sale and purchased them. He started work on the castle’s restoration in 1971 and by 1983 it was finished. Since 1986 it has been used as the archeological centre for the area.
Other Castles in the Area
Ardamullivan Castle, County Galway
Ballinalacken Castle, County Clare
Bunratty Castle, County Clare
Doonagore Castle, County Clare
Dromoland Castle, County Clare
Dunguaire Castle, County Galway
Fiddaun Castle, County Galway
Gleninagh Castle, County Clare
Knappogue Castle, County Clare
Leamaneh Castle, County Clare
Newtown Castle, County Clare
O Brien's Tower, County Clare
Photograph by Richard G. O'Dea. License: Public Domain. (view image details)
Dysert O'Dea Castle map