A wide angle image from beside the stone ‘bawl’ castle wall that stands at the foot of Carrigafoyle Castle, Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. This wall contained a boat dock.
Carrigafoyle Castle was wrecked by a series of bloody sieges, but remains a remarkable castle. Located between the high- and low-water marks on the shore of the Shannon Estuary, it comprises a large tower built towards the end of the fifteenth century by the O’Connors of Kerry. The tower was protected on the landward side by two square bawns, an inner one with rounded turrets and an outer with square towers at the corners. The tower has five storeys rising to a height of 86 feet and is beautifully constructed of specially selected small stones laid in neat courses. Each floor has an oblong chamber with a small room and spiral stair in the wall thickness at the seaward end. Among State Papers in London there is a plan of the castle dated April 1580 and a letter to Queen Elizabeth from Lord Justice Sir William Pelham. The previous month Pelham had besieged the castle, then held for the Earl of Desmond by an Italian engineer, Captain Julian, with fifty Irish men and sixteen Spaniards. Pelham used artillery brought by sea and within two days had battered down the bawn and the western landward side of the castle. All the surviving members of the garrison were hung and the Earl of Desmond’s plate, stored in the castle, was sent to the Queen. The castle was later recovered by the O’Connors, only to be surrendered again to the Lord Deputy, Sir George Carew, in 1600. It had a garrison of forty men in 1659 to protect the south shore of the Shannon. Despite its wrecked condition the castle was occupied in the last century by a Dr Fitzmaurice and his family. Located 2 miles N of Ballylongford it is accessible from the road across a raised path of stones liable to be submerged at high tides.