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near Kilbarry, County Cork, Ireland
Carrignacurra Castle is built on a rocky outcrop on the bank of the River Lee a mile east of Inchigeelagh.
The castle is a four storey tower house. It is not quite square, with longest side 38 feet and shortest side 25 feet. The north west corner is an obtuse angle, and the south east corner is acute, with the other two corners right angled. The south east corner has a pointed triangular projection like a buttress (known as a redan), which was used as a defensive position to guard the south and east walls. There north western side has a wall-mounted turret (bartizan) on the corner for protecting the north and west walls. The east wall has a machicoulis (a projecting balcony with opening in the floor through which the occupants could drop stones and boiling liquids on attackers). The walls are about 50ft high but the battlements are missing. The corners have been damaged at the base with stones removed. Remains of a gable are attached to the east wall. A l5 foot high chimney is on the north wall.
The ground floor has the main entrance, a small guard room, and a main chamber which was probably used as a store room. A spiral staircase leads to the upper floors. The first floor has a guard room which gives access to the redan which has three gun loops. The main chamber was probably a living area or store room. The second floor would have been the kitchen and living area and has a vaulted ceiling. The room has a single narrow window on the wet side, and a fireplace on the north wall. There is a passage within the north wall. On this floor is the garderobe or toilet. Access to the bartizan is from this floor, where there are five gun loops in the walls and two openings in the floor. The main living quarters for the family were on the third floor. This floor provides access to the fourth floor (attic) sleeping quarters and battlement wall walk.
Carrignacurra Castle was built in the late 16th century, and was the seat of the O'Leary family. It was captured by O'Sullivan Beare in 1602, and later forfeited to the MacCarthys in 1641. The castle was taken over by the Masters family in the 18th century. The castle is undergoing restoration, and the corners have been repaired, having been vandalised in an attempt to remove stones. Timber floors have been installed on the second, third and fifth levels, and the attic level has been restored with the addition of a slated roof. Stonework has been repaired around the gun loops, windows, and door surrounds. The restoration is in keeping with the original construction.
Other Castles in the Area
Ballynacarriga Castle, County Cork
Carrigadrohid Castle, County Cork
Carrigaphooca Castle, County Cork
Carrignamuck Castle, County Cork
Drishane Castle, County Cork
Kilcrea Castle, County Cork
Kilmeedy Castle, County Cork
Muckross House, County Kerry