Abandoned ireland


Cloghleagh Castle,

Co. Cork

Documenting our Heritage

Cloghleagh Castle, translated as Castle of the Grey-stone, was the principle stronghold of the Condons who had come to Ireland with the Anglo-Norman Invasion.

Patrick Condon who had been involved with the Earl of Desmond's rebellion was forced to forfeit the castle and manor on Sept 9th 1588 to a Thomas Fleetwood. The castle remained in Fleetwoods hands until the rebellion of 1642 when Richard Condon promised safe passage to all residing at the castle if they surrendered his family estate back to him.

On surrendering the castle the entire Fleetwood garrison was murdered, wounded or imprisoned.

Patrick Condon took residence at the castle but his ownership was short lived.

On the 3rd of June 1643 Sir Charles Vavasor marched on Condon's castle.

After an "obstinate defence of Condon" the castle was taken by the English.

In the castle resided Condon’s party of twenty men, eleven women, and seven children.

They were ordered to strip and were then murdered by the English army with carbines, pistols, and swords.

The very next day on the fields in front of the castle the English army of Sir Charles Vavasor, two hundred musketeers commanded by Captain Philip Hutton, and a troop led on by Captain Freke advanced on the Irish army close by.

When the Irish forces saw the English marching through a narrow lane between the hill and Fermoy they charged them in the rear with brutal consequence. Sir Charles Vavasor, Captain Wind and Captain Fitzmaurice, Lieutenant King and several others were taken by the Irish as prisoners. Captain Pierce Lacy, Captain George Butler, the Lieutenants Walter St. Leger, Stradbury, Blessington, and Kent and several other English officers were killed along with at least three hundred English soldiers.

The Earl of Castlehaven, who commanded the Irish, gave out that he had slain six hundred and ninety English.

Wrapped in a history of murder and cruel war, Cloghleagh Castle still stands today, the surrounding trees and green fields giving little indication to its grim and bloody past.

Co. Cork