Nestling on a small island on Lough Derg, close to the shoreline in Scariff Bay, is the ruin of a 16th century Towerhouse, known as Castlebawn. Built by the McNamaras, about 1540, blown-up in 1827, now restored and opened to the public
Charge: Adults €8, Children €4
Tea / Coffee also available.
Alas, Castlebawn’s claim to fame was the way in which it was destroyed by the authorities in 1827 when the south wall was blown up – an attempt was made to demolish the north wall also – as the building was used to manufacture poteen.
Castlebawn was in a sorry state of repair when first purchased in 1995. It consisted of three walls in poor condition, roofless, covered in ivy and resembling a medieval handball alley!
The castle was rebuilt using the original stone lying close to the tower house. Several pieces of stone windows were found along with a corbel with a head carved on it, which were all reused in the reconstruction. Irish Oak was used to replace the wooden floor beams and also for the new roof trusses.
This project was Highly Commended at the Clare Design & Conservation Awards Scheme 2005. According to the Chairman of East Clare Heritage Centre, Tuamgraney, who nominated it, Tomas Mac Conmara said “We feel this major project is an example of what an individual can achieve in saving an historic building. It’s quite incredible to believe that Castlebawn of today was in such disrepair only five years ago. East Clare Heritage commends Pat and Mary Cody for their remarkable effords, enthusiasm, energy and foresight. Castlebawn stands as a monument to their success.”