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Castle RentalAn affordable Irish Castle near Doolin, County Clare, Ireland

Ireland Castle Rental Doolin
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Land-Only from $1500

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On my first trip to Ireland, I rented a castle with a bunch of friends in the town of Roughlea, County Galway. It was a small tower with a few bedrooms, kitchen and fireplace -- but it was a castle! Who rents a castle in Ireland, let alone their first trip there?

That castle was Cloghan Castle, since refurbished to be a luxury castle for weddings and banquest.

Searching for a small, affordable castle we found one just outside of downtown Doolin and it is very reiminscent of our castle in County Galway. Setting up a tour in October 2011, I was able to tour the castle and take photos for everyone thinking of renting an authentic castle in Ireland.

This castle sleeps 6-8 people comfortably.

Castle Rental Quick-List

  • Irish Tourist Board Approved (Board Failte), a guarantee for the high standard you expect
  • Three (3) cosy double bedroom chambers, additional sleeping facility for two on the gallery
  • A good sized bath room and two shower rooms/WC
  • All rooms are centrally heated
  • TV and radio/CD player in Great Hall
  • Payphone available in kitchen
  • The Banqueting Hall with a long, richly carved table comfortably seating eight
  • Kitchen including electric stove, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, fully equipped with a good range of cooking and serving utensils, all you need for an opulent banquet
  • The Great Hall with its large original gothic fireplace, once upon a time the king's living room, overlooked by a medieval gallery - live like "Lord and Lady"!
  • Furniture is kept in luxurious antique style throughout
  • Prices include heating, water, electricity, basic cleaning, bedlinen and towels (weekly), as well as 1 bag of charcoal on the day of arrival.
  • Additional bags of charcoal for the fireplace can be purchased at € 12,-/bag.
  • A breakage / cleaning deposit of € 500,- is required and payable before arrival. This will be returned provided the property is left in the same condition as found.

Doolin Castle History

Only few castles in the West of Ireland survived into our times. In the County of North Clare one of the most important castles is Ballynagowan (Smithstown) Castle which takes its name from beal-atha-an-ghobhan, the mouth of the smith's ford. This castle has played an exciting part in Irish history over the centuries. It was first mentioned when the last king of Munster, Murrough O'Brien, called the Tanist, who was created 1st Earl of Thomond and 1st Baron of Inchiquin in 1543 willed the Castle of Ballynagowan to his son Teige before his death in 1551.

Over the years it accommodated many famous characters of Irish history. Records show that in 1600 the legendary Irish rebel “Red” Hugh O'Donnell with his men rested there during his attack on North Clare, spreading ruin everywhere when seeking revenge upon the Earl of Thomond for his being in alliance with the English.

In 1649 Oliver Cromwell's army came from England with death and destruction. When his General Ludlow swept into North Clare striking terror everywhere he went, he attacked the castle with cannons. In 1650 Conor O'Brien of Lemeneagh became heir of the castle. However, soon after, he was fatally wounded in a skirmish with Cromwellian troops commanded by General Ludlow at Inchicronan in 1651. With him had fought his wife Maire Rua O'Brien (“The Red Mary”), named after her long red hair, one of the best known characters in Irish tradition. She had lived in the castle as a young woman and it is the ferocity and cruelty attributed to her, which has kept her name alive. Legends tell that to save her children's heritage after Conor's death she married several English generals who were killed in mysterious ways one after the other and that she ended her bloody carrier entombed in a hollow tree.

During 1652 almost all inhabitable castles in Clare including Smithstown were occupied by Cromwellian garrisons, a time of terrible uncertainty, under military rule.

Over the next decades Ballynagowan Castle was the seat of army generals, the High Sheriff of County Clare and Viscount Powerscourt, one of the most powerful aristocrats who had their main residence - a monumental neogothic palace - in Dublin.

This castle, last inhabited in mid 19th century, has now been restored to provide a historic self-catering holiday home for an unforgettable and adventurous experience of Ireland between past and present, with all the comfort of 21st century. On ground of almost 5 acres, the romantic castle is situated on a rocky eminence surrounded by a park with mature trees and the river Deelagh, gently flowing in a lovely glen of rich vegetation.