Ballymote Castle (Caisleán Bhaile an Mhóta)

Ballymote Castle


Location: Ballymote, County Sligo Map

Constructed: c. 1300


Ballymote Castle is situated on the outskirts of Ballymote in County Sligo in Ireland. Ballymote Castle was constructed in 14th century. Ballymote castle has a large main body. This castle is one of the most symmetrical castles in Ireland. The castle like architecture of the castle Belmarsh in Anglesey (Wales), built by the king of England Edward Longshanks. The entrance to the castle was protected by a high massive gate that was located in the Northern wall of the castle, the gate had double D-shaped towers. The outer walls of the castle have not survived. The interior rooms of the castle are 320 square feet. Preserved (partially) three round towers with four corners of the castle. There are also towers in the middle of the West and East walls. It was planned to build another gate with a small square tower, but they were never built. The construction of the castle was not completed in connection with events of 1317, when the castle was stormed by the Irish clan O Connor.

The walls of the castle are 3M (10ft) thick and around the perimeter have been reinforced with 6 towers. Passages gave access to towers and intermediate walls at different heights to protect the castle. No traces of internal houses in the castle were found. Local legends say that there were underground passages that connected the castle with the Church Emlayfad and Franciscan Abbey, but such legends were composed about every castle in Ireland and they are unlikely to be true. "Red count" in addition to the lock built the road from Boyle (County Roscommon) to Calluna. This road was known under the name of Bahar Corran and the Road of the red Graph.


History of Ballymote castle

Ballymote castle was built in 1300 by the feudal Lord of Norman origin Richard og de Burgh - II Earl of Ulster, who was known as the "Red Earl" in order to protect the conquered lands in what is now County Sligo. The castle is built next to the older castle, which was built in the Motte-and-Bailey style." In 1317, the castle was captured by the Irish clan o'connor, who conquered their ancestral lands in the Norman feudal lords. In 1347, the castle was captured by the Irish clan Mac Diarmada during the wars between the Irish clans. By 1381, the castle had been taken over by the macdonagh clan of Ireland.

In 1561, the castle belonged to Tadg Mac Dermot, the last king of the Kingdom of Moylurg. The castle was then retaken by the clan o'connor in 1571. Then the king of England, Scotland and Ireland James And confirmed that these lands and the castle owned by the clan O Connor. But for a short time in 1577 the castle was captured by English troops. In 1584, the castle was owned by "Lord Connacht" Richard Bingham. For a long time the castle was abandoned, not repaired and gradually turned into a ruin.

In 1588, the Irish clans o'connor, O'garth, O'dowd attacked and sacked the castle. The English surrendered the castle to the Irish clan macdonagh in 1598. After that, Hugh o'donnell the Red took possession of the castle. One source indicates that he bought the castle for £ 400 and 300 cows. It was from this castle that he went to the battle of Kinsale. In 1602, the castle was captured by the English army. The castle was already in poor condition. In 1633, the castle briefly belonged to the Taaffe family. During the rebellion for Irish independence in 1641, the castle was seized by rebels. But in 1652 the castle was captured by Oliver Cromwell's troops. During the so-called Vilyamitskih (Yakobitskih) wars between Catholics and Protestants-supporters of the Catholic king James II and Protestant king William III of orange castle captured captain Terence Mac don, was a supporter of James II. But in 1690 the castle was surrounded by the English troops of William III led by Lord Granard. The castle began to fire artillery. The castle fell, then the fortifications were finally destroyed, the castle turned into ruins.

In the twenty-FIRST century, the office of public works in Ireland carried out a partial restoration of the castle. Now the castle can be visited by tourists by prior arrangement of the society that deals with the castle.



The ruined castle is on the R296 Ballymote to Tubbercurry trunk road, opposite Ballymote Railway Station and next to the Catholic Church. To obtain the key for a small fee, contact the Enterprise Center on Grattan Street. The center is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and often at weekends during the summer. Access to the ruined castle is through the grounds of the Ballymote Community Nursing Unit.