Dunasead Castle:  An Imposing Private Residence in the South of Ireland

While you may not get the chance to peek inside Dunasead Castle, it is still worth the journey to admire it from the outside. Found in Munster Province and County Cork, the Castle is nearly four hours by car from the Dublin Airport.

Irish Expressions - Dunasead Castle

Follow the road signs south to Cork, and then head west via the N22 and several smaller county roads.  If you don't see signs for Dunasead Castle, because many of the road markers actually read Baltimore Castle, don't worry.  The names are interchangeable and you're heading in the right direction.

Things to Know About Dunasead Castle

Here are some 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.

  • Dunasead Castle, which translates to English as Fort of the Jewels, is a fortified house located in County Cork.

  • Built in the 17th century, the Castle is a relatively simple two-story rectangular building protected by a curtain wall.
  • Shortly after construction, it is believed that the castle was largely destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's forces.
  • Today, however, it has been restored and is in use as a privately owned residence.
  • The Castle goes by many names. Originally, it was called Dún na Séad, which translates into English as Fort of Jewels, and it is also widely known as Baltimore Castle.
  • The original Castle is not the one that stands on the site today. The first castle was constructed in 1215, and before that there was likely a primitive ringfort in its place.
  • The castle standing at Dunasead had a very short life. It was constructed in roughly the year 1620, and it was largely destroyed just two decades later.
  • The castle was surrendered after a battle in the Cromwellian Wars. The castle was given to the English at the Battle of Kinsale. In the years after, it was neglected and fell into ruin.
  • If you take a look at the castle's architecture, it's easy to see why it wasn't built to withstand attacks. Unlike other forts and castles of the period, Dunasead had just a curtain wall as a means of protection.
  • Between 1997 and 2005, the Castle was purchased by a private citizen. It looks like a lot of money, time and effort went into the restoration. 
  • While restoring castles like Dunasead is always a good thing, it does mean that the castle is no longer available to the public. You can see the exterior of the castle, but there are no public tours of the interior available.
  • The good news is that the castle is not set back on private property, nor is it obscured from view. Since it is right in the middle of the town of Baltimore, you can still get a great view or a photograph.
  • One fantastic way to see the castle and the harbor at the same time is to head to Jacob's Bar or The Captain's Table, both of which are just steps from Dunasead and offer magnificent views over the water.

You can find more information on this exciting Irish landmark 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."

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!