South Wall

Clara Castle

Tower House

On a recent trip to Kilkenny I decided to visit the ogham stones at Churchclara and this probable 16th century tower house two kilometres north of there. This castle, built by the Shortall family, turned out to be a hidden gem. It is one of Ireland's finest tower houses. The building is remarkably complete and was occupied up until 1905. Unfortunately I was unable to gain access on my visit but have since learnt that access is by appointment only. The building has five storeys with a vault above the third floor. On the northside there is a a well defended fore-court.

The inside of the tower was protected with a murder-hole and above the doorway is a fine machicolation, pictured below right. There are a large number of openings or defensive loops through which muskets could be fired at various angles. A spiral staircase gives access to the upper floors. Hopefully we will have photographs of the interior in the near future.

Irish crenellations


Situated: From Kilkenny take the Dublin Road (not the N10) for 2.3 kilometres. Go through the roundabout onto the R 712 for 4.8 K then take a left turn (not signed). At T-Junction turn right. After approx 2k turn left and then right.

Discovery Map 67: S 5734 5792. Last visit May 2014.

Longitude: 7° 9' 8" W

Latitude:  52° 40' 10" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Entrance to the bawn

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