For Sale, Unique, Historic, Medieval Castle near Ballinrobe in County Mayo.
This property is offered for sale partly furnished to include some furniture, window drapes and tapestries.
Situated in the ancient barony of Kilmaine, this beautifully renovated Medieval Castle is surrounded by 13 acres of rich walled pasture land.
The Castle is a magnificent example of a medieval square towered fortress.
It was erected by the powerful De Burgo family who historically controlled a huge swathe of territory across Mayo and Galway.
The De burgos who later became the Burkes or Bourkes controlled this huge kingdom through a network of strategically placed castles which also protected their trade routes to Lough Corrib and Galway.The orientation of the Castle is significant, as was common with important medieval buildings it was built with deference to an astronomical event or sacred landmark, in this case it is the latter. In the Northwest corner of the building there is a small room with a lancet opening at floor level. This small window can only be viewed through at floor level necessitating one to assume a kneeling position and is aligned with the summit of Croagh Patrick, the sacred mountain of St Patrick.
The nearest town is Ballinrobe which is 8 km away offering a good selection of pubs and restaurants. The picturesque village of Cong famous for the John Ford film ” The Quiet Man” and Ashford Castle are also close by. The location offers an ideal base for touring the West of Ireland and its many attractions. The area abounds with natural beauty with the mountains and lakes of Connemara less than an hour away.
The Castle is situate on approx 13 acres of walled pasture land, with gated entrance and gravelled driveway.
There is a charming Formal garden with outside dining facilities, and enchanting stone chapel.
The Accommodation Comprises;
The ground floor bed room is a large stone flagged beamed room with deep wall recesses. There is a large ornately carved antique bed which can also be converted into two singles. Two of the recesses can also be used as additional beds which makes this an ideal family room. The dedicated shower-room is situated next door.
On the first floor there are two en-suite Bedrooms:
one principal vaulted double room with a delightfully romantic king size rococo bed and a small double/twin room with a double gothic iron bed.
Second Floor Great Hall:
Once the heart of medieval life; the hall has a huge stone fireplace with a vaulted ceiling rising to over 20 feet.
There is a beautiful 17th century oak table with ample room for a banquet. The fully equipped kitchen is conveniently situated next door.
The hall can accommodate up to 25 seated.
An intricately designed minstrel’s gallery spans one end of the hall just waiting for the musicians to arrive, or failing that there is a valve amp CD system which takes full advantage of the incredible acoustics.
Guest Toilet: on the same level as the hall.
Kitchen: Fully fitted kitchen with serving hatch to the hall equipped with range cooker, microwave, fridge freezer, dishwasher etc.
Past the old garderobe there is another small double/twin bedroom with a delightful en-suite shower room.
Fourth Floor: Follow the stairs to the top of the Castle and enter the Lord and Lady’s apartment (sitting room).
This is a large room gracefully furnished with antiques and hung with tapestries. The trussed roof was modelled on Dunsoghly castle and is a masterpiece of craftsman ship with every rafter and beam hand-crafted and traditionally treated. Hidden behind the bookcase is a ladder which leads to a secret chamber where valuables or prisoners would have been held. The views from the battlements are awe inspiring! On a clear day one can see for up to 40 miles across the stone walled fields to the Partry and Maamturk Mountains.
Adjacent to the sitting room is a beamed double bedroom with a large four poster bed lavishly hung with silk embroidered drapes.
Set in the window is a free standing bath which offers spectacular views of the stone walled fields and the mountains.
The en-suite shower room has a double hand crafted sink unit.
All of the bedrooms are heated by storage heaters while both the Great hall and top sitting rooms have wood burning stoves.
A little piece of history
From records we know that the Castle had been abandoned for at least two hundred and fifty years up until it’s restoration in 1997.
The origins of the Castle and neighbouring Castles are sadly mostly lost in the mists of time. According to the chronicler O’Donovan, “In the parish of Kilmaine there are several square Castles said to have been built by the Burkes (de Burgos). By the mid 16th Century Kilmaine politically and economically was the most important barony in the county. In 1574 there were 41 castles in an area of just 10 miles long by eight broad, by far the highest concentration of castles in Connacht, an indication that agriculture was on an industrial scale.
Activities near by;
There are seven golf courses in County Mayo. With 18 hole and 9 hole courses suitable for the Amateur or experienced golfer. Courses near to the Castle are:
Ballinrobe Golf Club, 18 holes a short drive from the Castle. This Championship Parkland Golf Course at Ballinrobe Golf Club is considered by some, including Padraig Harrington, to be one of the best in Ireland.
Ashford Castle Golf Course, This beautiful 9 hole, 2996 yards par 35 parkland course is perfect for golfers of all abilities to hone their skills. The course, the original deer park of the estate, was designed by the renowned Irish golf architect Eddie Hackett.
HORSE RIDING & TREKKING
County Mayo provides plentiful locations for all who enjoy trekking and pony riding at any level. Ballyjennings Stables are less than 3 kilometers away. They offer Horse and Pony Riding for all ages from the age of four years old and upwards. This is a family run centre who can cater for families and have suitable animals for both children and adults
Ireland’s School of Falconry is the oldest established falconry school in Ireland. They specialise in one hour private Hawk Walks where you can fly a Harris hawk. No previous experience is necessary and they cater for all ages, abilities and families.
Lough Corrib is one of the best game fisheries in the world and it is a wonderful place to experience what Ireland has to offer both in terms of the game angling and the hospitality of the local people. Lough Corrib is now recognised as the leading wild brown trout fishery in the World. Lough Mask is famous for its large ferox trout and every season anglers take a number of these great trout, mostly all over 10 lb and nearly always to trolled baits.
If you would like to try Traditional Archery, you can arrange a lesson at Ballyjennings which is less than 3 Km from the Castle.
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING & ZIP LINING
Enjoy the ancient sport of clay pigeon shooting at Ashford Castle. All the family can participate simultaneously from ages seven upwards. Get a bird’s eye view of the majestic Ashford Castle woods as you zip through the branches on this exhilarating aerial adventure. Beech, Oak, Monterey Pines, Scots Pine and European Fir Trees will whizz past as you go from one platform to the next and cover a combined total distance of 300 metres.
THE SPA AT ASHFORD CASTLE
After all that activity relax and unwind in the Spa at Ashford Castle for a special pampering lunch. With its fairytale setting and uninterrupted views stretching across Lough Corrib.
HISTORY & CULTURE IN COUNTY MAYO
The village of Cong is situated along County Mayo’s border with County Galway. The village is one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages in Ireland. It is well known as the film location for John Ford’s film The Quiet Man. It is also the place where the great Irish writer Oscar Wilde spent a lot of his time. Cong Abbey is a historic site in Cong, the ruins of this former Augustinian abbey date back to the 13th century and have been described as featuring some of the finest examples of medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Ireland.
Ballintubber Abbey stands one mile off the main Castlebar – Galway road, just seven miles outside the town. Founded in 1216 by Cathal Crovderg O’Connor, it is an important sacred Irish historical site which celebrates its 800 year anniversary in 2016.
Croagh Patrick is perhaps one of the most famous ancient historical sites in County Mayo. Patrick’s sacred mountain. Croagh Patrick is situated five miles from Westport, with the mountain’s conical shape soaring majestically above the surrounding countryside and Lough Lannagh.
The Céide Fields are the oldest known field systems in the world, over five and a half millennia old. It is a unique Neolithic landscape of world importance. Visit the multi-award winning Centre, which has exhibitions, audio-visual show and tearooms and take a guided tour with their professional guides.
LOUGH CORRIB CRUISES
Spend the afternoon on Lough Corrib and visit Inchagoill Island, of all the 365 islands on Lough Corrib Inchagoill is the most famous and most visited. Corrib Cruises is a family run passenger boat service on Lough Corrib, County Galway, Ireland, operated by brothers Patrick and David Luskin.
Take a drive to Kylemore Abbey and visit the large walled Victorian Gardens. The gardens are open to the public for tours and ‘nature’ walks. This Benedictine monastery was founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connamara.
Some of the top 10 restaurants in County Mayo are close by. There is a good selection of restaurants and bars to choose from. Flannerys Bistro in Ballinrobe is run by husband and wife team Trevor and Marie Burke. Using only the finest locally sourced ingredients Head Chef Paul produces some fine food.
Wilde’s Restaurant at The Lodge at Ashford Castle. We would recommend it for lunch sitting on the patio and enjoying the view of Lough Corrib. Serving fine contemporary Irish cuisine in a stunning setting.
In the heart of Cong Village the The Crow’s Nest at Ryan’s Hotel is a traditional bar that has a homely atmosphere, and with good food and friendly staff. The adjacent restaurant The Fennel Seed is perfect for an evening meal.
Cullen’s at the Cottage in the grounds of Ashford Castle is a traditional thatched cottage which provides a relaxed dining experience. The patio area provides a spectacular area to enjoy lunch and the magnificent views of Ashford Castle. The cottage is open seasonally.
OUR RECOMMENDED FAVOURITE BARS
One of our favourite pubs is Burkes Bar in Clonbur. This pub gets our vote as one of the most welcoming family run bars. Tomás is the most congenial host and his staff are friendly and helpful. This pub has great ambience with good food and a mighty pint of Guinness…. Ceol agus craic !
1 hr Ireland West Airport, 1 hr Galway City, 3 hrs Dublin and Airport, Shannon Airport 1.5 hrs
These particulars are intended to give a fair description of the property only and are in no way guaranteed, nor do they form part of any contract. They are issued on the express condition that all negotiations are conducted through Helen Cassidy. All properties are offered subject to contract and to being unsold.
For Viewings and Brochures: Please contact sole agent:
Helen Cassidy, B.A.(Mod)MIAVI
Clonbur, County Galway, Ireland.
00 353 949546868