Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland
Listowel Castle is situated in the centre of the town of Listowel on a steep bank overlooking the River Feale and a strategic ford, 16 miles north of Tralee in the south of Ireland.
The parts of the castle which are still standing have been well restored and visitors to the castle toady can see much of the front of the castle including two of the original four storey towers of almost 50 feet in height joined by a curtain wall and an arch to one side. There has been a recent addition of an external staircase in keeping with the architecture.
Visitors to Listowel Castle can access the top floors of the castle via an external staircase, however this is by guided tour only and each tour has to be limited to a maximum of twelve visitors at a time so during the busy summer months it may be necessary to wait.
The castle is open daily between 21st May and the 2nd September between 09:30 and 17:30 and information on the history of the castle can be found in the Seanchaí Centre which is adjacent to the castle.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the Fitzmaurice family on the site of an earlier castle believed to be from the 13th century.
Although the castle was not the main family residence it was strategically important to them as they were in constant battle with their neighbors the O’Neil’s and the Desmond’s and also with the soldiers of the Crown. Due its position they were able to ford the river and create a stronghold against the marauders.
It was the last of the Geraldine’s fortress’ to be brought under control after a twenty eight day siege on the 5th November 1600 by Sir Charles Wilmot who subsequently executed what remained of the castles’ garrison. The castle then passed to the Hare family who were granted the title ‘Earls of Listowel’.
The castle was left abandoned and fell into ruins. In 2005 the Office of Public Works started the castle’s restoration with the cleaning and restoration of the stone, and building the external staircase.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballybunnion Castle, County Kerry
Ballyheigue Castle, County Kerry
Ballyseede Castle, County Kerry
Carrigafoyle Castle, County Kerry
Carrigaholt Castle, County Clare
Glenquin Castle, County Limerick
Glin Castle, County Limerick
Rahoneen Castle, County Kerry
Shanid Castle, County Limerick