The Aughnanure Castle at County Galway was built by the “ferocious O’Flaherties” in the 16th century. They were the acknowledged masters of the whole of west Connaught at that time. The site of the castle was also thought of to be the site of a much earlier 13th century Norman fortification. It is actually a very strategic site because it is located at close proximity to Lough Corrib on what is almost a rocky island that has been formed naturally by the Drimmeen River. A natural bridge made of river-deposited rocks allows access to the castle’s inner brawn and tower house located on the west. The east and south, on the other hand, is where the outer brawn is located. The six-storey high castle tower is gracefully built with a battered base and two flanking tizans located at mid-height. This gives the castle a very beautiful, delicate appearance that belies that actual purposes of such a building. The interiors of the castle were believed to have been lavishly decorated with the lord’s suite located at the third storey. Aughnanure Castle’s riverside walls have survived but the east and southeast curtains are now gone. Although most of the outer ward has collapsed the style by which it was built belies the kind of beauty it possessed. The Aughnanure Castle was the seat of the O’Flaherty clan chiefs until 1572 when Sir Edward Fitton captured it. The castle’s very strategic location led to its playing a vital role during the Cromwellian blockade of Galway. Visitors can easily visit Aughnanure Castle by car. Renting a car is a great way of touring all over Ireland because of the convenience it gives to travellers.
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