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 Castles of Ireland - Nenagh Castle

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Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland

Standing in grassy parkland amongst trees, Nenagh Castle is an imposing landmark in the Irish market town of Nenagh, in County Tipperary.

Nenagh Castle (also known as Nenagh Round) is the best example of a cylindrical keep in Ireland. It used to be attached to a curtain wall which surrounded a five-sided courtyard. Most of the curtain walls have gone, but isolated parts remain. The castle used to have four towers with twin towered southern gateway, and a tower on both the east and west sides of the courtyard. Only fragments of the gateway remain. The circular keep was on the northern corner of the pentagon. The castle is made of limestone rubble. The keep is about 30m tall and 16m across at the base. The walls are about 5m thick at the base. The upper part of the tower including the corbelled parapet was a later addition, constructed around 1860.

The castle is undergoing restoration at the time of writing (2009).

Nenagh Castle was built around 1200. Construction was started by Theobald FitzWalter (aka Theobald Walter), a Norman, who died before it was completed. FitzWalter later took on the name of Butler, Nenagh Castle continued as the seat of the Butler family, the Earls of Ormonde, until 1391.

The castle changed hands a number of times during the wars of the 17th century. The Williamite War, when King James and King William of Orange fought for the Kingdom of Ireland, resulted in the defeat of James's forces. Nenagh Castle was destroyed by King William's forces in 1692.

The circular keep was partially restored in the 19th century by Bishop Michael Flannery, who added a new parapet on top of the tower.

Other Castles in the Area
  Annagh Castle, County Tipperary
  Ballynahow Castle, County Tipperary
  Birr Castle, County Offaly
  Leap Castle, County Offaly
  Loughmore Castle, County Tipperary
  Portumna Castle, County Galway

Portumna Castle
Nenagh Castle undergoing renovations in 2008.

Photograph by Liam Hughes. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

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