Like Irish real estate? In particular, are you looking to buy an Irish castle? Well, this property just sold for just under half a million euro, so we had a snoop inside so you can too.
Are you a wild romantic who dreams of living in a castle on a windswept mountain deep in Ireland? Well then, there is a property website that you should check in with as often as we do.
Premier Properties has been around for years and lists specialty real estate like castles and stately homes. This is a site where you can perve inside the homes of those dreamers who love the idea of restoring a tower or owning a lighthouse on a rock.
An interesting property that has just sold is Moyode Castle. It is a 16th-century fortified tower house located in Athenry, County Galway. The castle was built around 1575 by the Dolphin family, who were originally of Norse descent and came to Ireland with William de Burgo.
The castle passed through many hands over the centuries, eventually coming into the possession of the Persse family, well-known landowners, and huntsmen. They built their Ascendancy Mansion (a grand house or estate that is associated with a powerful family or ruling class) just 300 yards away from the castle.
The Persse family is famous for their connection to the Galway Blazers and their legendary huntmaster, Burton Persse, who was a relation of Lady Gregory, who herself was a Persse. (The Galway Blazers is a traditional fox hunting club that is based in County Galway, Ireland. The club was founded in 1825 and is one of the oldest hunting clubs in Ireland. The Galway Blazers are known for their distinctive red hunting jackets and their pursuit of the red fox, which is native to Ireland.)
During Ireland’s turbulent past, many property histories were lost, but this is not the case with Moyode Castle. The previous owner, historian and author James Charles Roy, chronicled the castle’s story in his book, The Fields of Athenry: A Journey through Irish History.
Roy bought the property as a ruin in 1969 and largely restored it. He repointed the walls, and rebuilt and reroofed the gables with historic “blue bangors”, a type of roof slate that is commonly used in construction, particularly in Ireland. Bangor is a town in Northern Ireland that is known for its quarries that produce the high-quality slate.
Roy also paved many of the floors with Liscannor stone, installed window lintels and glassed the windows.
Irish Castle Renovations
Moyode Castle also has a renovated bawn wall. A bawn wall is a type of defensive wall commonly found in Ireland during the medieval period. The word “bawn” comes from the Irish word “baile,” which means “town” or “settlement.” Bawn walls were typically built around a settlement, castle, or other important sites to provide protection against raiders and attackers.
Bawn walls were typically made of stone and were several feet thick and several feet high. They usually have battlements, also called crenellations along the top to allow defenders to shoot arrows or other weapons at attackers.
Crenellations are the notched or tooth-like features along the top edge of a fortified wall or castle battlements. They are a key architectural feature of many medieval castles and fortifications.
Crenellations are designed to provide cover for defenders while allowing them to shoot arrows or other weapons at attackers. The notches, or crenels, provide spaces where archers or other defenders can shoot through while remaining protected by the raised sections, or merlons, in between the crenels.
Crenellations were an important feature of castle design during the Middle Ages and were used throughout Europe and other parts of the world to provide defenses against enemy attacks. Today, many castles and fortifications with crenellations can still be visited and provide a glimpse into the military architecture of the past.
Irish Castle Features
Moyode Castle has a magnificent mahogany “great gate,” and the standard medieval necessity, a huge open fireplace in the Great Hall, fit to roast a bull.
The castle stands on approximately a quarter of an acre, with a right-of-way to the nearest country road.
The Great Hall has a ceiling height of 22ft and is a most striking room because of the feature windows, wooden floors, large open fireplace, direct access to the kitchen, and mezzanine level above, accessed via spiral stairs.
The castle has a spiral staircase leading to the next level with a ‘garderobe’ (toilet) and ladies’ chamber/bedroom with vaulted ceiling and wood floor.
There is also a huge open-plan room suitable for use as the master suite, with Liscannor stone floors, several beautifully cut stone windows, and an antique fireplace.
A spiral staircase leads up to the loft bedroom, right into the eaves with wooden floors and beams. The final portion of the historic staircase leads up to the battlements, with fabulous views in all directions.
From the south, the view includes the towering Slieve Aughty, while the north and east have views of pastures and pine trees. And to the west lie the remnants of the 18th century Ascendancy Manor, Moyode House.