Athenry Castle:  A 13th Century Defensive Structure with a Rich Irish History

Athenry Castle is nestled in Galway County, and part of the Connacht Province.

The historic castle is easily accessed from the Dublin Airport simply by following road signs to Galway.

Shortly before you arrive in Galway via the M6, you'll take Exit 17 and drive just a few miles before arriving at this grand 13th century structure.    

Athenry Castle

Things to Know About Athenry Castle

One of the oldest walled towns in Ireland is Athenry, which is home to the 13th century Athenry Castle.

Meiler de Bermingham is responsible for the construction of the castle in County Galway, which was designed with security rather than beauty in mind.

This is a must-see structure for history buffs, because parts of the 13th century enclosure walls and battlements remain.

Visitors can climb a wooden staircase to enter the half-keep, the most preserved part of the castle that still stands.

Situated just west of a ford across the River Clarin, the name Athenry is derived from the Irish 'Áth na Ríogh', or 'the Ford of the Kings'.

The Irish folk song "Fields of Athenry" is well-known, particularly in sports circles, and contributes to the notoriety of the town of Athenry and to Athenry Castle.

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Irish Castles offer numerous opportunities to enjoy Irish experiences and share your Irish side with others.

Visiting them in person is obviously a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not to be missed!  But travel is not required to enjoy these magnificent treasures.

The options are limited only by your imagination!  Here are some fun things you can try out...

Fun Irish Experiences to Try (No Travel Required)

Here are some fun ideas for creating an Irish experience, wherever you are in the world.  Some we have enjoyed ourselves, some have been submitted by our readers!

Try one - or send us an idea of your own, using our contact form here!  We would love to hear from you!

  • Choose a favorite image or two, then transform it into a framed photograph or canvas wall display.  We have these all over our home.  For photo prints, we like to work with  For canvas wall art (it ends up looking like an oil painting – very nice), we recommend
  • We also like to make use of quizzes, puzzles and games, to entertain our readers and guests, and to spice up our St Patricks Day parties and other Irish-themed occasions.  If you would like to build your own quiz using information about Irish Castles, we recommend a visit to
  • One great idea submitted by an Irish Expressions member, is to have one of your favorite Irish Castle images turned into an electronic jigsaw puzzle, wall calendar, or deck of playing cards.  While we have not yet done this, there are many online resources to help you create your Irish Castles masterpiece.  If you try this yourself, please drop us a note and let us know how it goes!
  • Another idea – electronic greeting cards.  Once again, Irish Castles, and other images of Ireland, make terrific themed backgrounds for party invitations, wedding invitations, holiday greetings, and many other uses.  We love as a resource for building our own custom greeting cards.

Finally, if you do have the opportunity to visit Ireland, we recommend checking in with our friends at  They have been designing custom Irish vacations for more than 25 years, and would be delighted to help you with your Ireland travel plans.

Ask for Eric and tell them Bruce at Irish Expressions sent you!  Tell them you want to include Irish Castles in your Ireland adventure.

And even if you are not looking for travel help, a visit to their lovely site - including a wonderful blog - is highly recommended.

That Was Fun!  Where Can I Learn More?

Great question! As you can see, lovely Athenry Castle - and hundreds more castles on the Emerald Isle by the way - offer many opportunities for enjoying an Irish experience and expressing your personal Irish side!

For more information of this kind, you might pay a visit to our section on Ireland Castle Vacations here!

And for travel ideas in general, check out our section on Ireland Travel Destinations.

In the meantime, if you enjoyed this overview of Athenry Castle, please take a moment to share your feedback about it, or any other part of our site, using our comment section below.  Or send us an email using our contact form here

Make sure you register for our monthly newsletter (bottom of this page) to get regular updates and great ideas sent directly to you!  It's as simple as entering your email address - we'll do the rest!

And once again - thanks for visiting!  We hope you will continue to explore Irish culture and traditions, and to share your Irish side with the growing community at Irish!



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