Tower House

This early 16th century tower house can be viewed from the 12th century parish church of Clomantagh. According to William Carrigan 1905, the castle was held by Piers Butler 8th Earl of Ormond, and after his death in 1539, it was inherited by his son Richard. Dendrochronological analysis carried out on the original oak beams gave a date of 1535. Which suggests it may have been built by the Butlers and not the Shortall family who held most of the lands in this area, and also the nearby Balief Castle. A ruined watch tower on the top of the castle was known locally as 'Margaret's seat' after Richard's mother.

Irish crenellations

The castle remained in the Butler family until it was forfeited during the Cromwellian Wars, and granted to Lieutenant Arthur St George. A farmhouse was attached to the east wall of the castle in the early 19th century. At the present time the refurbished castle is available as a holiday rental property.


A large sheela-na-gig is carved on one of the quoin stones, high up on the south west angle of the castle. She is set within a recess. Her left hand is touching her pudenda and her right arm is raised. Both of her feet are pointed outwards, touching the edge of the quoin. It is better to visit Clomantagh during the winter, as tree to the south west of the castle will probably block your view of the sheela during the summer months.

Situated: From Urlingford head north on the R639 then at the roundabout turn right onto the R693. After 750 metres turn right staying on the R693. 3.4 kilometres turn right again on the R693. The church is 2.9k down this road.

Discovery Map 60: S 3477 6393. Last visit Feb 2019.

Longitude: 7° 29' 7" W

Latitude: 52° 43' 32" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Previous----Home-----Next Page