Newtown, County Clare, Ireland
Newtown Castle is set in open countryside 1.5 miles south west of Ballynaughan in the west of Ireland. From the top of the castle it is possible to see Galway Bay, Connemara and Corkscrew hill.
The castle is a five storey fortified circular tower house set on a square pyramid base giving the impression of a rocket ship.
The castle has been restored and it is possible to visit all levels of the tower via a spiral staircase. The ground floor boasts a dome vaulted ceiling and walls that are over twelve feet thick in places; this is originally where the food would have been stored. The first floor has narrow windows which were used for defence and the second floor has a small door opening onto the outside; 30 feet down, where the occupants could have climbed down a ladder as an escape route.
The towers main hall also has a dome vaulted ceiling and a balcony looking out over the countryside beyond and the top floor has a new conical oak roof.
The castle is open to the public all year from 10am until 6pm with tours available. The top floor now being used as a gallery for the nearby Burren College of Art.
The castle is also a good place to start the Newtown Nature Trail a guided walk of just under a mile.
Newtown Castle was built in the 16th century by part of the O’Brien clan. The castle then passed to the local O’Loughlin (also spelt O’Lochlainn or O’Loghlen) family.
In the 1830’s the castle was home to Charles O’Loughlin who was given the title locally of the ‘King of Burren’, later his son Peter took over in the 19th century as the ‘Prince of Burren’. The family remained there until the end of the 1800’s when the castle fell into ruins. In the 1990s, restoration of the castle began and in 1994 fifteen craftsmen took seventy two days to complete a new roof cone made of seven tonnes of Irish oak.
Other Castles in the Area
Ardamullivan Castle, County Galway
Ballinalacken Castle, County Clare
Doonagore Castle, County Clare
Dunguaire Castle, County Galway
Dysert O'Dea Castle, County Clare
Fiddaun Castle, County Galway
Gleninagh Castle, County Clare
Leamaneh Castle, County Clare
O Brien's Tower, County Clare
Tyrone House, County Galway