On the outskirts of Roscommon Town sits this large and sprawling Norman castle ruin, originally built in 1269. Situated on a slope overlooking the town, it is easy to see how this castle would have dominated its surroundings in medieval times.
Built in 1269 and originally occupied by Lord Justice of Ireland Robert de Ufford, it was soon destroyed by local Gaelic, who captured it in 1273, but rebuilt it soon afterwards. The castle was then passed on through various families over the subsequent centuries, with surnames such as O’Conor and O’Kelly and Malby. It was finally taken and destroyed, as were so many Irish castles, by Cromwellian forces during their invasion of Ireland in 1652.
The remains of Roscommon Castle today include an entrance gate flanked by two large towers. It has rounded corners, bastions, and a series of mullioned windows. Other buildings located on the grounds were added after 1578 by occupant Sir Nicholas Malby, who also altered and renovated the original castle building.
- The castle is listed as a national monument
- Entrance is FREE
Roscommon Castle. Image by William Doyle