Ballynahinch Castle

Ballynahinch Castle

Ballynahinch Castle is a 16th-century castle in County Galway, Ireland. It is located on the north bank of the River Moy, about 4 km west of the town of Ballynahinch and some 24 km southwest of Galway city.

It is one of a handful fortified tower houses built by Gaelic lords between the late 16th and early 17th centuries across Connacht.

Ballynahinch Castle was built in approximately 1600 by the Ó Flaithbertaigh family. It was constructed on top of an earlier 14th-century Anglo-Norman castle that has not survived, which belonged to one of the Hiberno-Flemish families that settled in Connacht following the Norman invasion of Ireland. The castle replaced the earlier structure during a period when Ó Flaithbertaigh power was at its height in the region.

The Ó Flaithbertaighs were lords of the Uí Maine, and had built a number of castles and towers across the region during the preceding century. By 1600 they had come to dominate the area in a manner similar to that of their cousins, the Ó Conchobhair Sligigh dynasty, who ruled the neighbouring Kingdom of Sligo from their base at Castle Matarrán. Following the death of Ó Flaithbertaigh chief Aedh Buidhe O Flaithbertaigh in 1592, the family split into rival factions, with one branch holding Ballynahinch Castle and the other occupying nearby Ballynahinch Castle.

The castle was captured by Crown forces in 1602. It was besieged and taken twice during the Plantation of Connacht in the early 17th century, once by Sir Richard Bingham in 1602 and again by his son James in 1641. It was used as a barracks by the British Army after the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and saw action during the Irish War of Independence in 1919-1921.

The castle contains a small tower house, surrounded by a bawn wall with a large gatehouse. The bawn is covered by a caphouse, which is surrounded by an open area to give an all-round view of attackers.

It is possible to stay at Ballynahinch Castle which is now a luxury hotel. Book here.

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Amy Green

Hi, my name is Amy and I am a UK based teacher and blogger. I spent most of my childhood summers exploring castles of England and Wales, and most of my adulthood teaching humanities in Secondary schools. I love visiting and learning about Norman and Medieval Castles.

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