Ballinglen Castle

Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland
The west wall of the castle (above)
and collapsed north wall (below)
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Ballinglen castle is situated in a valley on the west side of the Ballinglen river about two miles south of Ballycastle, Mayo.  It sits in a field surrounded by grazing cattle.

This Norman castle was probably built about 1500 AD, and has 10 foot thick walls at the base.  At the top was an Altar room with an altar, but the roof and north wall have collapsed exposing a hidden passage inside one of the walls.  Most of the structure is covered in ivy and some of the masonary, including the large corner stones have been removed, presumably to be recycled in other local buildings. 

Ballinglen castle is described as follows in a 1943 Survey of Antiquities:

"
In the townland of Ballinglen the ruins of an old Norman castle will be seen at the far bank of the river on the right hand side of the road when about two miles from Ballycastle.  A road to the right leads up to the farmhouses near the castle.  The thick strong walls of the castle, now crumbling visibly, are about fifty feet high and thirty square.  It is believed that the castle was erected by the Barretts and siezed by the Burkes in later years.  The ruin is credited with the usual complement of secret passages but I could not find any trace of them.  A stone staircase leads upwards but this is impassable beyond the first storey.  The castle is on the lands of Mr Sean Purcell, Ballinglen and visitors are free to explore it."
Click here for location of castle on
Google maps (54.256162,-9.377392)
Click any photo to enlarge it