Gowran Demesne

Ballysean Castle

This is one of two castles built in Gowran by the Butler family. Nothing remains of the 14th century castle, built in the town by James Butler, 3rd earl of Ormond, but this later tower house still stands in Gowran Demesne. The castle is AKA as Ballyshawnmore or Ballysheanmor Pictured above are the south wall with the west wall( by the roadside). The corbel stones of a machicolation in the south wall, pictured left, are situated above a latrine chute. The remains of another machicolation, that once guarded the entrance, jut out from the east wall at roof level.

Pictured above are a few examples of the many windows and muskets loops to be found in the tower house walls. The mullioned window in the centre is situated in the north wall. Ballysean castle stands in a field known as "Pigeon Park" where is also evidence of an early earthwork. The 14th century Gowran Castle was captured and and bady damaged by Cromwells forces in 1650. An early 19th century Manor house now occupys the site. About 3 kilometres south of here stands the ruin of another Butler Castle at Neigham.

Situated: From St Mary's Church in Gowran, head west on the R448. Then take the first left, in the town. The tower house stands about 400 metres down here on your left.

Discovery Map 68: S 6311 5300. Last visit Aug 2018.

Longitude: 7° 4' 4" W

Latitude: 52° 37' 29" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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