Lesser Known Castles of Donegal

Lesser Known Castles of Donegal – Burt castle dates back to the 16th Century and can be found in the South West of Inishowen. Originally built as part of a defence network, which also included Inch and Carrickabraghy, it was captured by the English in 1608 and became a garrison for years after. It remains in good condition and due to its strategic significance contains a spectacular view of the surrounding areas.

Inch castle was also part of the defence network erected by the O’Doherty’s. It had already been damaged considerably by the 1600s yet even until this day it is a rich and interesting place to visit. It is perhaps best known as the location for the famous battle for the Lordship of Tirconnail in the 15th century.

Raphoe Castle was built in the 1630s and played a pivotal part during the Irish Rebellion of 1641. In 1689 it was burnt to the ground by King James’ forces en route to Derry. It was rebuilt by Bishop Cairncross in 1695 but suffered further attacks throughout the years; most notably in 1797 when it was attacked by a group of United Irishmen. In 1838, the castle met its end in what was believed to be an accidental fire started in the upper room which ignited the whole castle. The walls are all that remain today, but contained within are hugely important historical events.

Carrickabraghy castle can be found at the end of the Isle of Doagh. The first castle built here was in the late sixteenth century and was occupied by Phelemy Brasleigh O’Doherty. The castle played host to many distinguished guests including Sir Cahir O’Doherty who stayed there just after he lost his lands at Inch Island to the English. Much of the castle remains intact and offers a fascinating insight into the area through the centuries.

The ruins of McSwyne’s Castle can be found at the head of St. John’s point. The castle was erected in the middle of the 15th century and was occupied by the McSwyne clan until the plantation of Ulster. The castle was the subject of a long legal battle after the 1641 rebellion, finding itself in the courts of Ireland, Scotland and England. The castle ownership failed to get any form of judgement and it fell into a state of decay. Ownership of the castle was never fully settled until the 20th century when the land commission took it over.

Castles of Donegal Greencastle

Northburg Castle in Greencastle was built close to the shore in 1305. Utilising the construction techniques of the Normans a fortress was built by Richard De Burgh, the Red Earl of Ulster to prevent attacks from Scotland. The castle was captured by the Scots in 1316 and the history of the castle since then has all the dramatic prose of a Shakespearian play. Although it shows the effects of time, it contains a special air and should be viewed up close where it can be truly appreciated.

Whitehouse Garden Castlefin Donegal

Whitehouse Garden Castlefin Donegal - The Whitehouse Garden in Castlefinn, Co. Donegal is a project sanctioned by the Irish Government in conjunction with the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative....

Leo’s Tavern Donegal

Leo’s Tavern Donegal – The establishment is named after Leo Brennan, an extremely popular and accomplished musician in his own right but also the father of Enya and 3 members of the renowned Clannad band – Moya, Ciaran and Paul Brennan. 

Doagh Island Famine Village

Doagh Island Famine Village - In brief, the Famine Village is an outdoor museum that tells the story of life in the area from the Famine back in the 1840s, through the 1900s to the present day....

North West Golf Club at Lisfannon

North West Golf Club at Lisfannon Donegal – Lying between beautiful Lough Swilly and Mouldy Mountain on the Inishowen Peninsula

Fort Dunree Military Museum

Fort Dunree Military Museum - Perched on a headland overlooking Lough Swilly, Fort Dunree is a military museum that incorporates a Napoleonic Martello  tower into more recent World War I defences....

Lighthouses Of Donegal

Lighthouses Of Donegal – prominent coastal structures dotted around the west and north coast of Ireland’s most northerly county and on 2 offshore islands.

The Donegal Craft Village

The Donegal Craft Village is situated 1.5km south of the historic town of Donegal. This attractive facility was established in 1985. Today it joins the An Clachan Art & Craft Gallery (Gweedore) and the Letterkenny Craft and Design Studio as one of the main showcases for contemporary arts and crafts in County Donegal.

Nancy’s Bar, Ardara

Nancys Bar, Ardara is renowned for its bar food and for its music sessions. With a bit of luck you could end up in the middle of a traditional music session after your bar meal.

Lough Doon Ring Fort Donegal

Doon Fort is an ancient ring fort on Doon Lough in the townland of Drumboghill which is 9km kilometres north of Ardara and not far from the coastal villages of Narin and Portnoo.

Glenevin Waterfall Inishowen

The spectacular Glenevin Waterfall is located 2km north west of Clonmany village on the Inishowen Peninsula, Co Donegal

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