Tower castle building was introduced to Ireland by the Normans on their arrival in the 1200s. This type of castle is quite rare in England and Wales – but you will find them in the more “dangerous” parts of the world – Ireland and Scotland!
The Gaelic Chieftains got in on the castle-building act from the 1300s onwards – mostly copying the original Norman style. These castles would have been lived in until the mid 1600s in many cases when “you-know-who” came and sacked many of the intact castle towers around the country. At this point, there are many hundreds of castle ruins and some restored castles spread throughout the country. Some on private property and some open to the public.
So – do let me know if your family inhabited one of these castles at some stage – or just pop you surname in the comments box below and I’ll give a yes/no answer.
In the meantime – you can buy – or rent – the pictured Ballyhealy castle in County Wexford. Built by the Cheevers and later occupied by the Bunburys. But beware, it may take a little time to heat up for a weekend stay!
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