Kilcrea Castle

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Kilcrea Castle
Native name
Irish: Caisleán Chill Chré
Kilcrea Castle, Farran, Co. Cork - - 1243394.jpg
Coordinates51°51′54″N 8°43′05″W / 51.865°N 8.718°W / 51.865; -8.718Coordinates: 51°51′54″N 8°43′05″W / 51.865°N 8.718°W / 51.865; -8.718
AreaCounty Cork, Ireland
BuiltMid-15th century[1]
Built forMacCarthys of Muskerry
Architectural style(s)Fortified tower house and bawn
Governing bodyOn private land
Kilcrea Castle is located in Ireland
Kilcrea Castle
Kilcrea Castle in Ireland

Kilcrea Castle is a ruined 15th century towerhouse and bawn located to the west of Kilcrea Friary near Ovens in County Cork, Ireland. The ruins are mostly hidden by a thick copse of trees.

Unlike the Friary, which is owned and maintained by the National Monuments Service of Ireland,[2] the ruins are on privately owned lands, the land immediate to, and including the ruins themselves, currently serving as a cattle farm. The castle is listed as a Protected Structure by Cork County Council.[3]


The castle was completed by 1465 by Cormac Láidir Mór (or More), chief of the McCarthy clan and builder of Blarney Castle and Carrignamuck Tower House, in a marshy area over an old fort possibly dating to the Bronze Age.[4]

The overall structure was built facing north (towards the River Bride), with the main five-story tower house on the western side and the bawn on the eastern side towards the friary.[5] The remains of a three-story tower anchor the southeast corner of the bawn. Text from the 1840s state that the bawn was enclosed with two square towers,[6] however any physical evidence of a second tower on the bawn is lost to the undergrowth.

In the mid-19th century a cutting of the now disused Cork and Macroom Railway line was built through the moat of the castle on the northern side.



  1. ^ "Kilcrea Castle - Description". Gazetteer of Irish Antiquities. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  2. ^ "National Monuments in State Care: Ownership & Guardianship" (PDF). National Monuments Service. Republic of Ireland. 4 March 2009. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Cork County Council - Record of Protected Structures (Structure number 00555)" (PDF). Cork County Council. p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  4. ^ Westropp, Thomas Johnson (1908). "The Monastery of St. Brigid, Kilcrea, and the Castle of the MacCarthys". Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society. Cork Historical and Archaeological Society: 159,220.
  5. ^ John Windele (1840). Historical and Descriptive Notices of the City of Cork. p. 230.
  6. ^ Coyne, J. Stirling; Willis, N. P. (1841). "The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland". Retrieved 20 August 2014.