Clifden Castle:  These Amazing Ruins Hold Secrets to the Magical History of Ireland

Head to County Galway in Connacht Province in order to see the beauty of Clifden Castle for yourself. Located right on the coast in Western Ireland, the Castle is directly across the entire island from Dublin Airport.

Clifden Castle

Thankfully, that just makes the drive a straight shot heading west and following the M4, the M6 and eventually the N59 that leads to Clifden Castle.

Things to Know About Clifden 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.

  • Built in John D'Arcy in the 18th century, Clifden Castle is a beautiful manor house located in Ireland's County Galway.
  • Although it was the region's most prestigious home for decades, by 1894 the manor hour was abandoned.
  • Tenants occupied the home, and today it is nothing more than a beautiful collection of ruins.
  • Since the castle is only accessible on foot, rather than by car, the ruins are free from crowds and a truly wonderful sight to behold.
  • Many of the earliest Irish castles were built as military strongholds, but this Castle is unique. It looks like it has come straight from the pages of a fairy tale.
  • Technically, the Castle is a manor house. It was built as a private residence, making it less practical and far more aesthetically pleasing.
  • In 1818, the largest local landowner was named John D'Arcy. He built the Castle for himself and his family while he put in work building up the surrounding town.
  • The entire town of Clifden wouldn't exist if it weren't for the efforts of the D'Arcy family. They were responsible for draining and reclaiming the area, making agriculture and construction possible in the first place.
  • When John D'Arcy died in 1838, the castle was given to his son Hyacinth. When famine struck locally, Hyacinth was not equipped to handle his local tenants. By the time they came to his front lawn begging for food, he was virtually bankrupt.
  • The Castle was sold in 1850, just 42 years after it was built. It was used as a holiday home for the Eyre Family, nut eventually fell into disrepair.
  • Today, the site is in ruin. Throughout the 19th century, anything of value was stripped from the castle in order to feel the hungry locals living nearby.
  • If you visit, pay attention to the unusual standing stones that surround the castle. These are not ancient, although they look like they could be. They were erected by D'Arcy to add some historic flair to the estate.
  • If you wish to enter the castle, you can do so through the back. The front door is no longer accessible, but there is a passable entrance through the rear of the castle right from the walled garden.

Find much more information about lovely Clifden Castle here.

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."

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That Was Fun!  Where Can I Learn 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!

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Bruce Grady



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