Tower House

The five storey tower house at Ballybur was built in c.1588, by Richard Comerford. It was one of three castles in this area, held by the Comerford Family. They occupied the castle until 1654, when John Comerford, a son of Richard's was banished to Connaught, losing his castle and lands to Brian Manseragh. It was owned by the Deigan family in the mid 19th century and was occupied by the Marnell sisters in 1970, who married into the Deigan family. It was finally bought by Frank and Aifric Gray in 1979, who have completely restored the castle. It is now available to rent, as a self-catering holiday home.

The castle was being prepared for guests, so we only had permission to view the outside of the building. The dooraway is situated on the northside of the tower house and is protected by a machicolation. Mullioned winows are present on the top floor and some of the floors below. A large number of narrow slits including angle slits are present in the north and east walls and a latrine chute is visible on the east wall, see image below. A restored bartizan, pictured below, can be viewed at the southwest angle. A second entrance has been built into the west wall.

Situated: In Ballybur Upper townland. From Kilkenny City take the R909/N76 south for Callan. After about 8 kilometres turn left for Ballybur. The castle is about 650 metres down here on your right.

Discovery Map 67: S 4750 4936. Last visit Oct 2019.

Longitude: 7° 17' 56" W

Latitude: 52° 35' 37" N

Google Map

Photos: Anne-Karoline Distel and Jim Dempsey.

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