near Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland
Dunboy Castle is set in 39 acres of land near the village of Castletownbere on Beara Peninsula and the shores of the Atlantic ocean, 12 miles from Kenmare in the south west of Ireland. The castle is part of the Dunboy Estate which also consists of Puxley Castle/Manor now the Dunboy Castle Hotel.
Very little remains of the old castle. It was left in ruins after 1602 and now comprises of just a few collections of stones which in parts are almost completely covered with undergrowth.
Dunboy castle ruins can still be visited as the estate is open to the public, but visitors should be aware that there is a great deal of building work taking place in other parts of the estate and major construction is taking place along the access road.
Dunboy Castle and Estate was the stronghold of the O’Sullivan Bere clan and built to guard the harbor of Berehaven. This is where they controlled the fishing fleets off the Irish coast and became rich through the collection of taxes for the rights of passage.
One of the most famous parts of history in the life of the castle was the Siege of Dunboy in 1602. The battle was between clan leader Donal Cam O’Sullivan Bere and Elizabeth I of England. The Queen’s command was headed by Sir George Carew and along with 5000 soldiers he was sent to suppress the clan. Dunboy Castle was considered impregnable and was only defended by 143 men it took two weeks, but it was almost destroyed by artillery fire and after hand to hand fighting the remaining 58 survivors were executed in the town square.
The entire site lay in ruins until 1730 when the Puxley family were granted the Dunboy Estate along with other land belonging to the O’Sullivan’s, they then set about building a mansion close to the Puxley Castle keep and Dunboy Castle was left in ruins.
The book ‘Two Chiefs of Dunboy’ by J.A. Froude and ‘Hungry Hill’ by Daphnie du Maurier were based around the Puxley family.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballinskelligs Castle, County Kerry
Staigue Fort, County Kerry