near Lough Corrib, County Galway, Ireland
Aughanure Castle is situated 2 miles from the village of Oughterard, on the banks of the Drimneed River close to the shores of Lough Corrib.
The Aughanure Castle site comprises of a well preserved tower house and circular watchtower with its stone corbelled roof and the ruins of a watch tower, banqueting hall and gatehouse with drawbridge.
The tower with battlements is six storeys high. A stone spiral staircase leads to the upper rooms; the uppermost room has a new oak timbered roof. From here you can access the battlements for a view across the lake and surrounding countryside.
The main attraction of the castle is some of the elaborate stone carvings especially in the ruined banqueting hall, some of the soldier’s vantage points where they were able to attack unaware ‘visitors’ and the hiding places where they used to incarcerate prisoners.
The castle is open daily between 09:30 – 18:00, April to September and during the rest of the year at weekends only. There are regular guided tours.
The castle does not have its own restaurant but toilets are available for visitors.
Aughanure Castle was thought to have been built by the Walter de Burgo and was home to the O’Flaherty clan in the 15th century.
In 1572 the castle was badly damaged in a battle with the president of Connacht; Sir Edward Fitton and was subsequently rebuilt as it appears today, fortified by Morogh O’Flaherty.
In 1618 King James I granted the castle to Hugh O’Flaherty but shortly after it fell into the hands of the Marquis of Clanrickarde who used it as a base against Cromwell’s forces. In 1687 the castle was back in the hands of the O’Flaherty clan for a rent of £76 per annum. In 1719 Bryan O’Flaherty bought the castle with the help of a mortgage of £1,600 which he borrowed from Lord Saint George but was unable to keep up the repayments and so the castle was lost again.
The castle last changed hands in 1952 when the Commissioner for Public Works took over the building and restored the parapet, chimney and roof in 1963. It is now managed by the Heritage Service of the local government.
Other Castles in the Area
Ashford Castle, County Mayo
Tyrone House, County Galway