Abandoned ireland


Ballintubber Castle,


Documenting our Heritage

Ballintubber Castle was built in the 13th century by Hugh O'Conor and became home to the O’Conor clan. It is the earliest remaining example of an Irish built stone castle, built at a time when all other fortifications were constructed elsewhere in timber. This huge keepless castle is first recorded in 1311. It is a moated castle with walls 300 metres long and up to 7 metres high with a central bawn of 1.5 acres. The bawn possibly contained several rows of houses.

The castle remained held by the O'Conors until it was lost in the Cromwellian period, fell into ruin in the at the beginning of the 18th Century, but was then reacquired by Charles Owen O'Conor, Don in the 19th century.

It is said that King Cathal O'Connor also called for an abbey to be built at Ballintubber. His workers duly built the abbey at Ballintubber, County Roscommon when in fact the King's requirement was for an abbey at Ballintubber, County Mayo. When O'Connor discovered this, he ordered that a greater and grander abbey be built in the correct Ballintubber, located in County Mayo!

During 2008 a geophysical survey was conducted by The Heritage Council and established that ancient structures were previously located within the castle grounds. The next stage proposed is an archaeological dig with the locals making efforts to establish a "3-D Walkway" at the facility.

Wanting to preserve a record of this place as it stands today I stopped by and made my photographs.

Ballintubber Castle,