Castles in Leitrim

Parke's Castle near Leitrim

Ireland’s least populated county, Leitrim is the perfect way to get off the beaten track and discover an authentic and untamed side of the Emerald Isle. From the heartlands along the River Shannon to a very short part of the Wild Atlantic Way (one of the longest coastal routes in the world), there’s plenty to discover in this pretty part of the country.

But Leitrim isn’t all about landscapes. More recently, it was one of the areas hit hard by the great famine in the 19th century, but its history extends to long before that. In this post, we’ll show you three of the most stunning castles in Leitrim.

3 Castles to visit in Leitrim

1. Lough Rynn Castle

One of the few Irish estates that can be traced back to a Royal Family, Lough Rynn Castle is now known as one of the most luxurious hotels in Ireland.

However, it still retains many of its features of being a castle, including furnishings and décor throughout the building and some splendid walled gardens.

Lough Rynn sites on the shores of the lough in grounds of around 300 acres. There is a 400-year-old oak tree on the grounds of the estate, as well as a Bronze Druid tomb which dates back to before Christ.

Where: Mohill
When: 17th century
Style: Medieval
Open for Visit: Open to the public. Lough Rynn Castle and Gardens are now a hotel.

2. Manorhamilton Castle

At the centre of the town of Manorhamilton is its castle of the same name. It was built in the 17th century by Sir Frederick Hamilton, who seized the land of the O’Rourke chieftains before brutally suppressing their uprisings.

The castle is a ruin, but it’s possible to arrange a visit in advance. Currently, visitors are able to take tours of the restored castle and grounds, where there are exhibitions of period costumes and furniture.

Where: Manorhamilton
When: 17th century
Open for Visit: Yes, but all visits must be arranged in advance.

3. Parke’s Castle

From its picturesque location on the shores of Lough Gill, it’s easy to see why this was chosen as a good spot for a castle.

It was originally a stronghold of the O’Rourke Clan who ruled the kingdom of Breffni, but in 1628, Sir Roger Parke turned it into a fortified manor house surrounded by the older Gaelic castle.

In the courtyard, there’s evidence of an older structure of a tower house. The rest of the castle has been lovingly restored using traditional Irish methods and materials. Visitors can experience the castle through a guided tour during the summer months, which usually lasts for one hour. 

Where: Kilmore
When: 17th century
Style: Plantation Era Castle
Open for Visit: Yes. 10:00 – 16:00 from April to September.
Website: https://www.parkescastle.com/

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