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Aran Inspired

Roscommon Castle

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.

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Ardgillan Castle and Demesne

Ardgillan Castle is a beautiful, two-storied country house, with castellated features. It set in 200 acres of parkland in a seaside area between Balbriggan and Skerries in North County Dublin.

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Ferriter's Castle

Now little more than a stump, this ruin of what was once a 15th century fortified tower house is beautiful due to its spectacular location near a cliff edge on the western tip of the Dingle Peninsula. Situated near Dingle golf club, 2 miles / 3 km to the northwest of Ballyferriter village in County Kerry, the castle's crumbling state adds to its postcard charm. Also known as Castle Sybil, Ferriter’s Castle was once the main family home of the Ferriter family, who controlled the western part of the Dingle peninsula, as well as the Blasket Islands. The castle is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of Kerry poet and warrior Pierce Ferriter, the last Gaelic chieftain to hold out against Cromwell's New Model Army.

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Lough Key Forest Park and Castle Island

Lough Key is one of Ireland’s most beautiful lakes, which can be reached by boaters on the River Shannon via the Boyle River. The Forest Park surrounding it comprises approximately 800 acres of varied woodland. The lake’s name derives from the Druid of the Silver Arm, also known as Cé (pronounced kay). The druid was said to be the king of the Tuatha de Danann, the mythical ancient people who, according to oral tradition, first inhabited the island of Ireland. Legend has it that he was drowned when the lake’s waters erupted from the earth.

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Leighlinbridge Black Castle

The original Black Castle, located in the pretty village of Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, was once one of the finest Norman fortresses in Ireland. Also intact is a Valerian stone bridge, believed to be one of the oldest functioning bridges in Europe. Standing at the side of this bridge on the village's main street, and overlooking the River Barrow, all that remains of the Black Castle today is the west half of a 14th century tower, along with part of the bawn.

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Lismore Castle

On a cliff near the Blackwater river, rises the ancient, charming and impressive Lismore castle, one of Ireland’s finest, and home over the years to many famous dwellers. The castle has a splendid view of the Blackwater Valley and the Knockmealdown Mountains, and is less than a kilometre from the Heritage Town of Lismore, County Waterford. The castle is privately owned and is generally not open to the public -- except for groups willing to rent it for short vacation stays, for an eye-watering sum (tens of thousands of euros).

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O’Doherty’s Tower and Derry Tower Museum

Located inside the City Walls of Derry, this magical looking structure was first built in 1615 by Paddy O’Doherty to satisfy tax liability owed to the O’Donnell chieftans. The building on the site today is a reconstructed replica of the original medieval Tower.

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Tulleynalley Castle and Gardens

The village of Castlepollard is a colorful place, highlighted by the 17th century Gothic Revival Tunnynally Castle. In addition to an extraordinary surrounding park and gardens, this castle claims the distinction of being the largest castle in Ireland that also remains a family home. The house and grounds provide visitors with a fine view onto the Midlands of Ireland, where the pace is slow and easy, and lakes and rivers embellish lush, verdant landscapes. The word Tullynally actually means “Hill of the Swans”. Its castle has a rich history, preserved by the Packenham family, which has made its home there for ten generations.

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Ballytarsna Castle

In the 1990s, Texan John Carignan purchased Ballytarsna Castle, one of Ireland's innumerable ruins and lovingly restored it to its former glory using traditional Irish stone masonry techniques. Ballytarsna is located just north of the town of Cashel, which is dominated by the larger and more famous castle, the Rock of Cashel, visible from the tower's 5th floor. While the castle and its lands are now completely private, the Carrigans, who live there, invite guests to book rooms via the AirBnb website -- it is perhaps the only Irish castle that can be booked in this way.

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Lynch's Castle

This Town Castle is Galway's best example of a fortified house, built by the prosperous Lynch family in the 16th century as protection from the raids of the chieftains of the 14 Tribes. Spanish decorative motifs are visible on its stones, along with decorative windows and the Lynch family coat of Arms. The Lynches were a wealthy family, many of whom served as Galway mayor.

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