Carrigaholt Castle < Back

Castles are a great Irish tourist attraction

Surrounded as they were by water, the people of Loop Head often needed to defend their position. Mediaeval castles such as the one at Carrigaholt were strategically located for defence.

Carrigaholt Castle stands at the end of the fishing pier overlooking the Shannon Estuary and the harbour. It is enclosed by a courtyard and high walls on one side, and by rocks and the bay on the other.

Built in about 1480 by the McMahons, colourful chiefs of the Loop Head peninsula, it is a traditional five-storey tower house with a murder hole inside the entrance, a mural winding stair and pistol loops.

The last inhabitants of Carrigaholt Castle were the Burton family, who left it in the late 19th century. The building today is in ruins and is under the care of the Office of Public Works. It is not possible to enter the castle itself, but it does photograph well.

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