Aughnanure Castle:  A 16th Century Tower House With a Fascinating Irish History!

To enjoy the beauty and history of Aughnanure Castle, head right past the city of Galway in Western Ireland. The castle is found in County Galway, in the province of Connacht.

Irish Expressions: Image of Aughnanure Castle courtesy of Bigstock.

This landmark is almost directly due west of Dublin Airport, which makes getting there by car incredibly simple.

Hop on the M6 right after you leave the airport, and stay on it until you see signs for the N6 right outside of Galway, which takes you north and right to Aughnanure Castle.

Things to Know About Aughnanure Castle

Here are 10 fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark.  Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!

But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.

  • If you visit the tiny town of Oughterard in County Galway, you won't want to miss a tour of Aughnanure Castle.
  • This castle is technically a tower house, which were designed to be a protected fortress home for the upper class in Galway.
  • Built in the 16th century by the O'Flaherty family, the castle can still be toured to this day.
  • Enter the ruins and look for the enormous banqueting hall, or try to climb to the top of the watch tower, which was a key feature of the Irish tower houses. 
  • When the Castle was constructed in the 16th century, it brought together two prominent Irish families. 
  • The O'Flaherty family and the O'Malley family united thanks to the wedding of Donal an Chogaidh O'Flaherty and Grainuaile/Grace O'Malley.
  • The couple would go on to live at Aughnanure Castle. This made the tower house castle a place of historical significance and a merging of two powerful dynastic Irish families. 
  • The castle is located right on the banks of the Drimneen River. This river leads to the waters of Lough Corrib, making it a desirable location for a castle.
  • There are four floors in the Castle. Unlike other castles of a similar age, which don't allow visitors to stand on each level, virtually the entire castle is now open to the public.
  • It's worth noting that the stone steps leading up and down between the levels are far from modern. They can be difficult to navigate, but this was intentional. They were designed to literally trip up invaders, who would have to move slowly to avoid falling over!
  • In the 16th century, the Cromwellian Invasion of Ireland began. The Castle played an important role during this time and served to protect Galway from the invading English armies.
  • Tours of the Castle are available between March and November of each year. The tours last just 45 minutes, but they are a spectacular introduction to the castle.
  • The property is now owned and oversee by DĂșchas. This is a body run by the Irish State that protects and manages historic properties like this castle.
  • If you're in the area outside of the tour season, it's still worth a visit. There are signs and placards surrounding the castle that help explain more about its history and significance.

For more information, you can check out this article from Enjoy Irish Culture.

Want More Irish Castles?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish castles!  The Emerald Isle is dotted with hundreds of these incredible structures.  

Sharing pictures and stories about them gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured the most amazing pictures and descriptions of Irish castles in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Guide to Irish Castles and Abbeys."

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email to get instant access!

That Was Fun!  Where Can I See More?

Great question! As you can see, exploring the castles of Ireland offers 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 Sightseeing here!