near Ceann Toirc, County Cork, Ireland
Kanturk Castle is an impressive ruined mansion located about 1.5km from the market town of Kanturk in County Cork.
The castle is a rectangular four storey high Tudor-style mansion made from limestone rubble from a nearby quarry. The main structure is 28 m long by 11 m wide with a huge square tower at each corner. Each tower is five storeys and about 29 m tall. Dressed limestone was used around the mullioned windows, and the cornice and corbel stones. The entrance doors, internal doors, and fireplaces are made from carved limestone. Some of the fireplaces have been removed and relocated in the nearby Lohort Castle. The main entrance is Renaissance style and located on the western side - the steps to the doorway are now missing. There is another entrance on the eastern side in Irish castellated style.
Construction of Kanturk Castle is believed to have began around 1609. It was built by Dermot MacDonagh MacCarthy, after he was pardoned by the government, after his capture in the aftermath of the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. It is said that the castle was never completed and remained a roofless shell for centuries, but it is unclear whether this is the case. MacCarthy may have been ordered to stop work by the English, who were suspicious of the purpose of the castle, or he may have run out of finances.
Over the years, the property changed ownership a number of times, and since July 2000 has been managed by An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland. It was donated to the National Trust by Lucy, Countess of Egmont under the condition that it be kept as a ruin in the same condition as it was at time of hand over. It is designated as a National Monument.
According to legend, the seven stone masons that worked on the Castle were all named John, giving the castle the name of “Carrig-na-Shane-Saor” meaning The Rock of John the Mason.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballybeg Castle, County Cork
Ballyclogh Castle, County Cork
Ballynamona Castle, County Cork
Blarney Castle, County Cork
Carrignamuck Castle, County Cork
Castle Barrett, County Cork
Castle Pook, County Cork
Drishane Castle, County Cork
Dromaneen Castle, County Cork
Fantstown Castle, County Limerick
Glenquin Castle, County Limerick
Kilbolane Castle, County Cork
Kilmeedy Castle, County Cork
King Johns Castle, Kilmallock, County Limerick
Liscarroll Castle, County Cork
Lisgriffin Castle, County Cork
Lohort Castle, County Cork
Mallow Castle, County Cork