kids encyclopedia robot

Castlebawn facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Castlebawn is a 16th-century Tower house, in County Clare, Ireland. It is on a small island on Lough Derg on the River Shannon, it is connected to the shore of Bealkelly by a man-made causeway. It was built by the McNamaras about 1540, severely damaged in 1827, and is now restored and opened to the public.


Castlebawn was built by the McNamara chieftains during the mid to late 16th century. Records show that Castlebawn was built by Owen McNamara, but do not give the year of construction. The earliest recorded mention of Castlebawn is 1570, when Sean McNamara, Chief of eastern Clann-Cuilein, died, leaving Castlebawn to his son, Sir John McNamara. McNamaras lived there until the Cromwellian land confiscations of the 17th century when it became disused.

In 1820 it became a den for illicit Poitín makers and in 1827 the authorities besieged the towerhouse to drive the occupants out. After the towerhouse was emptied the authorities attempted to demolish the building with explosives. Only the south wall and roof were destroyed. The remaining walls although damaged remained intact. The castle was so well built that three of the walls remained intact.

Simon Flannery occupied the castle early in the 20th century, and locally the castle is still referred to as Simon's Castle.

In 1929 the construction of the Ardnacrusha power plant caused the water level in Lough Derg to rise significantly shrinking the island on which the towerhouse stands.


In 1996 Pat and Mary Cody completed the restoration of the ruin, which is now open to the public in the summer months, although access is via boat only.

kids search engine
Castlebawn Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.