A Student of History

May 25, 2007

Roscommon Castle

Filed under: Historic Places,Ireland — John Maass @ 7:44 am

The second stop on my way to the North from Shannon Airport, to stay with my wife’s relations in Derry, was to see Roscommon Castle, in the county & town of the same name.  As is the case with just about everything else one wants to see in Ireland, it is not clearly marked by signs!  Anyway, I located it and crawled around it for a short time.  Nice ruins (if ruins can be nice) and access to its walls and nooks is pretty good.  They also have a good interpretive sign right outside the main door, which helps to understand the castle’s significance.  The town of Roscommon is pretty as well, and is a good place to get something to eat, etc. 


Roscommon Castle is located just outside Roscommon town. It was built in 1269 by Robert de Ufford, Justiciciar of Ireland, on lands he had seized from the Augustinian Priory. The castle was besieged by the Connacht King Aodh O’Connor in 1272, Eight years later it was again in the hands of the English garrison, and fully restored. By 1340 the O’Connors regained possession of it, and held it for two centuries until 1569, when it fell into the hands of Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy. In 1641 the Parliamentarian faction gained it until Confederate Catholics under Preston captured it in 1645. It remained in Irish hands until 1652 when it was partially blown up by Cromwellian “Ironsides” who had all the fortifications dismantled. It was finally burned down in 1690 and thus it gradually fell into decay.

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