near Ballea Hill, County Cork, Ireland
Ballea Castle is situated on a cliff overlooking the Owenboy River in Carrigaline about 8 miles south of Cork City
Ballea Castle is a three storey tower with a more recent two storey wing making an L-plan structure. The building has prominent crenellations, and the large windows show that it is designed as a residence rather than a fortress. There is a large White Horse painted on a cliff face below the castle which can be seen from the Ballea Road.
The castle is a private residence and is not open to the public.
The castle was built in the 15th century. It appears to have been renovated and extended into a three storey L-plan fortified house in the 17th century. It was home to the MacCarthy family until the late 17th century. The castle then fell into disrepair until 1750 when restoration work was undertaken by the Hodder family who held it to until the early 1900s. The castle has been modernised in more recent times and is now a private residence.
Legend has it that one of the Hodder daughters fell in love with a local farmer's son. Her father was furious, wanting her to marry a man of his choice. An argument ensued. The daughter's horse bolted over the edge of the cliff, with both daughter and horse falling to their deaths. The White Horse was painted on the cliff to mark this fateful day.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballintotis Castle, County Cork
Blarney Castle, County Cork
Carrignamuck Castle, County Cork
Castlemartyr, County Cork
Charles Fort, County Cork
Desmond Castle, County Cork
Elizabeth Fort, County Cork
Kilcrea Castle, County Cork
Kilgobbin Castle, County Cork
Mountlong Castle, County Cork
Ringrone Castle, County Cork