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Shrule castle

De Burgo and Shrule castle .

Shrule Castle was built around 1238 by Richard De BurgoShrule Castle was built around 1238 by Richard De Burgo who had been granted The Kingdom of Connacht by Henry II. Its function was to safeguard these newly gained lands of De Burgo.

Shrule Castle was built around 1238 by Richard De BurgoIt is a rectangular tower six feet by forty-two feet and it originally carried a beamed and thatched roof.

The main door was situated on the South side(river side) and this was reached by a wooden staircase.

At the end of the 15th Century and probably until the Famine the Castle Field had a number of small cabins consisting of stone gables, mud walls and thatched roofs.

BRIDGE AND CASTLE OF SHRUEL, COUNTY of Mayo.In 1570, when it was captured by Sir Edward Fitton and a strong British force, who on this trip took all the castles of Kilmaine. The De Burgos and McDonnells came to the rescue of Burke of Shrule, broke and pursued the English army, but the event of the battle was doubtful. The Saxons kept the field, and with cajolery and treachery held it as far as the Kilmaine chiefs were concerned. Fitton himself was wounded. Wm. Burke occupied the castle, in 1574; John, his son, in 1610;
Richard Burke, the Earl of Clanricarde, got the castle and lands to the extent of four quarters about this time, and leased them to Pierce Lynch of Galway.

Shrule House .

The original house was constructed in 1769 by James and John Golden as the Castle had declined and was no longer in use. The front of the house has added in 1812 by Richard Golding, and around 1840 the east wing was added. It was occupied by the Goldings until the beginning of this century.

Shrule House 2000

They extablished a distillery – the ruins of which still exist at the rear of the house. The distillery was not destined for a long life as the area was visited by the great Temperance Priest – Fr. Matthew. The ruins of the great corn mills of the Goldings which closed in 1803 still remain on the south bank of the river. In 1857 the Goldings
had established a brewery after the closure of the distillery. The Goldings must have been a very devout Catholic family as a beautiful stained glass window was donated by them to Shrule Church. There is also a marble plaque on the Church wall near this window, requesting prayers for the Soul of Richard Golding of Shrule who died on January 30 1864.

Kinlough castle

Kinlough castleThis was a MacWilliam castle, and had a church close by. John Brown, of The Neale, described it in his map of 1584 as a “MacWilliam House.” The MacWilliam Eighter, who was then Sir John Fitz-Oliver Burke, lived there in 1574; Sir Richard Fitz-Oliver in 1618, and his son, Walter, mortgaged it to Sir Valentine Blake, Menlough, in 1628. Sir Thos. Blake leased it to John Darcy in 1668, and Pierce Joyce purchased the lands in 1852.

Moyne castle

Moyne castleThis structure stood on the Black River and was surrounded by six quarters of castle lands. It is a massive square tower, with a spiral staircase. David MacJonyn (Jennings) Blake was owner in 1574, and Ulick, Earl of Clanricarde, then got it by confiscation in 1585. Richard, his successor, got a re-grant of the castle, and four quarters of land in 1610. George French was occupant in 1678, and in 1683 Thomas Blake got it on lease from William Earl of Clanricarde. The Blakes retained it until 1750, when they moved to Merlin Park (Galway). Martin K. Blake resided there until 1838, when it was let to Patrick Henry Lynch, who was regarded as a “millionaire.” This gentleman, afterwards resided at Strand Hill, near Cong, and was long a “Sunday man.” He was father of Henry M. Lynch one of the defendants in the very protracted law suit of Lynch v. Clerkin (1898-1901), also of Julia Lynch, the Ballinrobe nun, who founded convents in America. The Blake interest was sold in 1853 to Joseph Burke and Paul Ward.

Ballycurran castle

Ballycurrin castleCurrin or Marsh was the original name of Ballycurrin castle. It was then a MacShoneen stronghold.

It was a MacSeoinin stronghold. Ulick MacSeoinin occupied it in 1574 and Richard, Earl of Clanricarde acquired it in 1610.

In 1679, it was leased to Maurice Lynch ? descendants of Sir Henry Lynch, Galway, 1 st Baronet who died in 1634. Maurice Lynch’s son, Joseph, got possession of the demesne in 1700.

It remained in the family until Charles Lynch died in 1897. The Lynches built Ballycurrin House next door to the castle.

Ballycurran lightouse

Lighthouse in BallycurrinAmong the better known members of this family was Henry Lynch, who, because of this love of sailing and needing a marker point and quay to get provisions from the Galway – Cong steamer, built Ballycurrin Lighthouse. It is the only inland lighthouse of its type in Europe. The roof is made of a mill wheel.

Beside it, he built a boathouse which has a stone engraved with “Erected by Henry Lynch Esq. A.D. 1772″.

The townland of Mounthenry, formerly known as Coarse Field, is named after Henry Lynch. Another member, Peter, who became a Papal Knight, built an impressive Big House on the shores of Lough Mask , Petersburgh nowadays a popular outdoor pursuits centre.

Ballycurrin House

Ballycurrin HouseThe last of the Ballycurrin Lynches was Charles who was married to Helena Joyce, Mervue, Galway. Their only son died in infancy and on Charles’s death, the Clarkin family inherited the estate.

They sold the estate to the Congested Districts Board who resold the house and part of the estate to Colonel Bedington, a retired English Colonel.

He renovated the house and planted and landscaped the area around the house.

It was burned in 1921 and is  being renovated of late .

Ballisnahyny castle

Ballisnihyny castleBallisnahyny seems to have derived its name from Lisnaheighnighe, which is mentioned in the “Historia et Genealogia” of the De Burgos (1578).

It was also mentioned in the Division of Connaught in 1574 as a De Burgo castle, and William Burke was the then occupant. The ancient “liss” surrounds it, and gives the castle its name.

Mocharra castle

Moycharra castle was a De Burgo castle, and given to the MacDonnells for war services. This castle was in the territory anciently called.”Eraght Thomas,” which consisted of eight towns divided among eight brothers.

Mochara Castle :: Ed Land, March 2005Two of these sold Moyne to Clanricarde, also its four quarters of land. David MacEdmund MacUlick, the MacWilliam of the time, let 440 quarters to Clanricarde at a rental and this same Earl purchased Moycharra castle from the MacDonnells.

The Earl then let all the lands again to the MacShoneens, MacMylers and MacGibbons at a rental.

These were all de Burgos, snuffed out by the confiscations, when Clanricarde and others shut out all the old owners by taking the lands directly from the Crown.

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  1. Ballycurrin burnt in 1914/15 not 1921. A claim was lodged in Feb 1915 for £2000 damages by the Congested Districts Board. James Clarkin burnt the house as he had lost it to the Congested District Board who were in the process of selling it to Conl. Beddington.
    Taken from news paper extracts from 1915 and Clarkin family history.

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