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.

Grianan of Aileach Donegal

Grianan of Aileach is probably the best-known monument in Inishowen. Situated on a hilltop 800 feet above sea level the stone fort was probably built on an earthen rath. The origins of the Grianan...

Donegal Garden Trail

Donegal Garden Trail - The Donegal Garden Trail is a voluntary initiative that seeks to promote garden visiting in the county and helps to raise funds for charity.The Garden Trail now has...

Monreagh Heritage Centre

The Monreagh Heritage Centre is housed in a former Presbyterian manse and is located in the heart of the Laggan, a district in the east of County Donegal that has been shaped by waves of migration, most significantly by Scottish settlers in the 17th century.

Lough Swilly Lifeboat Buncrana

Lough Swilly Lifeboat Buncrana Station operates two lifeboats – one inshore lifeboat and another all-weather Shannon Class lifeboat

Portsalon Golf Club County Donegal

Portsalon Golf Club County Donegal - Portsalon Golf Club was established in 1891 and is one of the founder members of the Golfing Union of Ireland, the oldest golfing union in the world. This...

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....

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....

Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival

  Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival - Derry is gearing itself up for a Hallowe’en Hooley as never before seen in the city, with the launch of its biggest ever festival programme featuring...

Dunfanaghy Workhouse Heritage Centre

Dunfanaghy Workhouse Heritage Centre is a multi purpose centre for locals and visitors alike featuring a famine museum, craft and coffee shop and art exhibitions. It is located along the Wild Atlantic Way just outside the village.

Fahan Self Catering

  Fahan Self Catering - Fahan is located in County Donegal, 8 miles from the historic city of Derry, on the east bank of Lough Swilly. Nestled at the base of the Inishowen hills and overlooking...

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