Abandoned ireland


Ballincollig Castle,

Co. Cork.

Documenting our Heritage

Ballincollig Castle stands on a massive limestone rock in the middle of a plain overlooking the Maglin Valley. The castle dates from the fourteenth century, although there may have been an earlier structure on the site before the huge stone walls were built.

The castle was probably built by Sir Robert Coll who also gave his name to the town of Ballincollig or ‘Baile an Choillaigh’, ‘Town of the Colls’. Around 1468, the Barretts purchased the Ballincollig lands and further improved the castle.

The castle consisted of an enclosed bawn built on top of the limestone rock with a tower and adjoining large hall. The hall has long since disappeared however the tower still stands today. The outer wall held two defensive towers, one of which still survives in ruins.

The tower originally held a prison in the bottom floor which had no entrance except a trapdoor from above. A very narrow staircase leads from the first floor to the second floor and roof level. The small size of the tower and lack of fire places indicates it was probably only used as a last means of defence rather than a normal residence.

Early in the 17th century the Barrett family’s finances were suffering and in 1618 they obtained a mortgage on the castle of £240 from Edmond Coppinger Fitzrobert of Corke. The mortgage was later transferred to Walter Coppinger, who in 1630 bought the castle from the Barretts for £790.

In 1644 the castle was taken by Cromwell’s forces and was used as a garrison, by 1690 it was unused and had fallen into ruin.

In 1857 the tower was restored by the Wyse family who inserted their family coat of arms with the monogram W in the east wall.

Co. Cork