Castles of Ireland - County Down

Ireland's History in Maps
The Castles of Ireland
Ulster Province : County Down
Compiled by Lee Johnson
Early Stone Fortifications - Castles, Towers and Strong-Houses
(What, Where, Who and When? -- A work in progress)
Search other Counties, or provide your feedback or contributions through the Index Page.

Castle Name Condition Description Early Founder(s) -- Time Period(s) Contructed Parish/Townland Ord Residency Links
Ardglass Castle (Horn Castle, Newark Castle) Partial Tower-House - The present castle was built c.1790 by Lord Charles Fiztgerald. In the rear of the castle, the builder incorporated 2 older buildings known as New Works or Newark & Horn Castle. The former is supposed to have been built in c.1400 by traders as a place for storage & sale of goods from the port. The building was of 2 storeys, each divided in to 18 comparments; the ground floor rooms had arched doorways & large square windows. Horn Castle is a narrow tower c.50ft high, 290.4m long x 8m wide & seems to have been an embattled warehouse with living accomodation at one end. 1790 -- Built by -- Lord Charles Fitzgerald Ardglass, Ardglass J56153710 Golf Club house
NISMR database
Ardkeen Castle (Ard-Coyne, Castle Hill) None Motte and Bailey with Tower-House
Ardkeen, Ardkeen J59355710
NISMR database
Audley Castle (Audley’s Castle) Full* Tower-House and Bawn ????-- --Audley, Ward Ballyculter, Castleward J57815058 State Care
NISMR database
Bagnal's castle (castle at Feedom, now Fathom) None Castle? 1480 -- Built by -- English
c1578 -- Tower-house built by -- Sir Nicholas Bagnall
Newery, Newery J08732615
NISMR database
Ballynarry Castle
A motte and bailey castle.

S 5644
Ballyroney Castle
A 12th century motte and bailey castle.

J 2240
Bangore Castle (Castle Park)
Belvoir Park Castle
A Norman motte.
Bright Castle (Castle Bright) Ruin

Carrowdore Castle (Carrodore Castle) Ruin
Castle Dorras (Castle Derras) None Tower-House - Castle Derras was on the site where the Down Recorder offices now stand in Downpatick, on English St., at the corner of Church Lane. 1848 -- Demolished by -- Down, Downpatrick J48634469
NISMR database
Castle Espie Ruins Castle?
Tullynakill, Castle Espie J48606727
NISMR database
Castle Island Castle Ruins Tower-House - the remnants of a small rectangular stone tower c.24ft (7.3m) across inside. The surviving walls stood to only a few feet and were 5'6" (1.7m) thick, constructed of fair sized, irregular blocks. There were traces of two slit splays in the W wall and another in the the N. Only the bases of the NE & SE walls are visible now
Saul, Castle Island J51684857
NISMR database
Castle Roe (Ross Trevor Castle) Ruin
Castle Screen (Castle Skreen)
The site of an Irish ring-fort with a 12th century Anglo-Norman motte.

J 4740
Castle Ward (Old Castle Ward) Full Tower-House - This is a late C16th/early C17th tower-house built of split stone rubble with sandstone dressings. It is 8.5m x 7.7m externally & is 3 storeys & an attic in height. The entrance is at E, approached by modern steps & is protected by a machicolation at roof level. The door leads to a lobby with a murder hole in the roof. A mural stair leads on to the upper floors. The ground floor room is roofed with a barrel vault. A battlemented parapet on the roof has stepped merlons, a feature of Irish castle architecture. Ward (1610), Lord Bangor (1760)? Ballyculter, Castleward J57404985
NISMR database
Castle Wellan (Castlewellan Castle) Full*
Castlebouy (Castleboy, St. Johnstown)
Castle-Hill Castle (Anadorn Castle) None
Castlewilliam (Castle William) None Castle?
Killyleagh J51955151
NISMR database
Clogh Castle Ruin& Motte and Bailey and Tower-House - The motte is surrounded by a ditch, which also separates it from the bailey. It rises 26ft above the ditch & is c.80ft across at the summit. The bailey is cresentic & delimited by a scarp 3-4ft high. Exavations in 1951 revealed a mid-C13th stone hall on the motte, with a stone keep. The site was deserted in the early C14th, until the late C15th-early C16th when the keep was rebuilt as a tower house.
Loughlin Island, Clough J40924029 State Care
NISMR database
Clough Castle Ruin& Tower-house - a motte with a bailey to S & a tower house on top. The motte is surrounded by a ditch, which also separates it from the bailey. It rises 26ft above the ditch & is c.80ft across at the summit. The bailey is cresentic & delimited by a scarp 3-4ft high. Exavations in 1951 revealed a mid-C13th stone hall on the motte, with a stone keep. The site was deserted in the early C14th, until the late C15th-early C16th when the keep was rebuilt as a tower house. c17th -- Founded by -- de Mandeville, MacQuillan, Mac Donnell Clogh or Clough Village J40924029
County Down Web Site 'Clough Castle' --
Stone in Place Names (Picture) --
NISMR database --
Con O'Neill's Castle None Castle? ???? -- Owned by -- Sir Moses Hill
1616 -- Sold to -- Con O'Neill
Knockbreda, Castlereagh J37557109
NISMR database
Cow'd Castle (Cowd Castle, Choud Castle) Full Tower-House - The tower is only 5.8m x 5.4m externally. It comprises 2 floors & an attic & a wall walk around the roof which is now inaccessible. The entrance is on the ground floor at W, where a mural stair rises to the 1st floor.
Ardglass, Ardglass J56063705 State Care
NISMR database
Down Castle None Castle? - 1641-2 -- Built by -- Thomas, Lord Cromwell Down, Downpatrick J48824435
NISMR database
Downpatrick Castle Ruins Tower-House? -A 2-storey tower is shown on demesne maps of 1729. It seems that this castle or tower-house was incorporated in to farm buildings, now derelict. The farm complex incorporates several buildings in a rectangular shape. The walls are upstanding, though low & crumbled in parts. The buildings are ivy covered & no diagnostic tower-house features were noted. Mac Donlevy, de Courcy (1177) Down, Downpatrick J47594456
NISMR database
Dromore Castle Ruin Tower-House c1610 -- Built by -- william Worsely Dromore Town J20095323
NISMR database
Dromore Motte & Bailey None
Drumbo Round Tower
Round Tower

Drumena Cashel
A prehistoric stone ring-fort.

Dundonald Castles
A 12th century motte castle with a nearby towerhouse of the 15th century.

J 4274
Dundrum Castle Ruin& Castle? c1190 -- Built by -- John de Courcy?
1220 -- Captured by -- King John
1227 -- Granted to -- Hugh de Lacy
1333 -- Reported ruinous --
1636 -- Granted to -- Sir Frances Blundell
Kilmegan, Dundrum J40483700 State Care
NISMR database
Green Castle (Greencastle) Partial* Castle? - It is approached across a rock-cut ditch, which excavations revealed to be 7m wide at top, 3m at base & 3.5m deep. The curtain wall had 4 corner towers, of which only the bases of 2 remain. The 4 storey keep, 18m x 8.5m internally, is C13th with later alterations. c13th -- Built by --
de Lacy (c1230), de Burgh, Fitzgerald, Baganal -- 16th century ?
Kilkeel, Greencastle J24731184 State Care
NISMR database
Hill Castle (Hillsborough Castle) Full A 17th century fort.
Jerretzpass (newery, Jerrets pass,Tuscan's Pass)
Jordan's Castle Full*& Tower-House - This is a four-storey tower-house, built c.1450 with a stair case turret & latrine turret both projecting from the N side, with a machicolation between them. The tower is built of split-stone rubble with sandstone dressings. c1450 -- Built by --
???? -- Residence of -- Jordon Family
1598 -- Blockade commenced by -- O'Neills
1601 -- Blockade relived by -- Lord Deputy Mountjoy
c1920 -- Castle Restored by -- F.J. Bigger
Ardglass, Ardglass J56013713 State Care
NISMR database
A Norman motte.
Kilclief Castle Full* Tower-House - It is 4 storeys high, a central rectangle with square turrets projecting to W at NE & SE angles. The NE turret contains a latrine with a pit at ground level; the SE one encloses a spiral stair rising to the roof, lit by narrow loops. The turrets are united by a semi-circular arch forming a machicolation at roof level. The ground floor has a barrel vault. On the 2nd floor, the fireplace has a C13th coffin lid as a lintel. Bishop Cely -- 14th/15th century? Kilclief, Kilclief J59724575 State Care
NISMR database
Killyleagh Castle Full* Castle - A 13th century castle converted to a stronghouse in the 17th century and further modified in the 19th century. 1330s -- Residence of -- The Mandevilles
c16th -- Residence of -- The O'Neills
1610 -- Bought by -- Sir James Hamilton
1648 -- Castle Damaged --
1666 -- Restored and additions added --
1850-62 -- Restored in rhineland style --
de Courcy, Mandeville, O'Neill, Hamilton (1604-1620)?
Killyleagh, KillyLeagh J52355296
NISMR database
King's Castle Full* Tower-House -
Ardglass, Ardglass J55833728 Nursing Home
NISMR database
Kirkistown Castle Full* Tower-House and Bawn 1622 -- Built by -- Roland Savage Ardkeen, Kirkstown J64495801 State Care
NISMR database
Lismahon Castle
An early 13th century Anglo-Norman motte castle built on a native Irish structure.

J 4238
Loughbrickland (Aghaderg or Aghaderrick) none
MacCortney's Castle None Castle?
Ballykinler, Ballykinlar Upper J422373
NISMR database
Maghera Round Tower
Round Tower

Margaret's Castle Partial& Tower-House - is enclosed on N & W by modern buildings. It is built of split stone rubble & is 22'6" x 21'6" internally. The NW turret contains a stair leading to roof level, while the NE turret contains a chamber. The building only survives to 2nd floor level, with the entrance on the ground floor. This leads to a small mural lobby with a murder hole above. c15th -- Built by -- Ardglass, Ardglass J56033703
NISMR database
Moira Castle None Castle?
Moira, Risk J14906090
NISMR database
Mount Alexander Castle None Castle?
Comber, Mount Alexander J45566974
NISMR database
Narrow Water castle (New, Poyntzpass Castle) Full* Tower-House and Bawn - It is a tower 11.2m x 10.1, standing 3 storeys & an attic high. The entrance is defended by a machicolation. The tower stands within a rectangular bawn, c.36m square with walls 0.6m thick & 2m high internally, but more on the outside where is rises from the shore. There is a modern gateway through the bawn at N. Magennis, Hall (c1560) Warrenpoint, Narrow Water J12561939 Historical Monument
NISMR database
Narrow Water Castle (Old, Poyntz Pass Castle, Fenwicks Pass) None
originally built 13th century?
Nendrum Castle (Mahee Castle) Ruin Tower-House and Bawn? It is 40ft x 22ft externally. The walls are 5ft thick, except the SE end wall, which is 6ft thick. The entrance doorway, 3'8" wide is on the NW end, defended by a murder-hole inside. The ground floor was vaulted & the 1st floor is 29ft x 12ft. The castle was apparently originally 3 storeys high, but now stands only 25ft high. There are possible remains of a bawn. 1570 -- Built by -- Captain Brown Tullynakill, Mahee Island J52396394 State Care
NISMR database
Newcastle Castle None Castle 1588 -- Built by -- Maghera, Newcastle J37633105
NISMR database
Newcastle Castle (Old) None Castle 1433 -- Built by --
NISMR database
Nuns' Island Castle? None
Other Fortresses
Portaferry Castle (Portnaferry) Partial Tower-House - It was probably built in the early C16th & repaired in 1635, with new floors & roof, large windows & an adjoining house was built. The tower is 3 storeys high, with an attic; at the SE angle is a turret which rises an extra storey & containes the entrance & stair from ground floor to first. This entrance is protected by a machicolation. c16th -- Built by -- ??
1635 -- Repaired by -- ??
Savage (16th century)?
Ballyphilip, Portaferry J59305085
NISMR database
Quintin Castle ("Smith's Castel"?)
Tower-House and Bawn ???? -- Built by -- Sir Thomas Smith? Ballyphilip, Ballymartyr J63175050
NISMR database
Quoile Castle Partial& Tower-House - The tower-house dates to the late C16th & is built of split-stone rubble with sandstone dressings. It is rectangular in plan with 3 floors & probably an attic. West family -- early 17th century tower-house? Saul, Quiol J49634701 State Care
NISMR database
Rath Ballyfounder
Rathfriland Castle Ruins Tower-House - the ground floor survives in part; the S wall & most of the E & W walls, largely reduced to foundations, remain, indicating a tower 26'6" square externally...Close to the SE angle of the E wall is a chase, possibly the socket for a draw-bar of the gate of a now vanished bawn". ???? - Built by -- Magennis Family Drumballyrony, Rathfriland J20143375
NISMR database
Rath-Keltair (Rath-Celtair, Dunum, Near Downpatrick)
Rathmullen Castle
A 13th century motte castle on the top of an Irish ring-fort.

J 4737
Ringdufferin Castle None Tower-House - On this stands a stone structure, traditionally supposed to have been built as a lookout tower in the late C18th. It is 2 storeys high, c.4m, & is 2.2m x 3m internally.
Killyleagh, Ringdufferin J53675664
NISMR database
Ringhaddy Castle
Tower-House Mandeville, Whyte, Hamilton -- 15th century castle? Killinchy, Ringhaddy J53845886 State Care NISMR database
Scarva House (Scarvagh House)
Seafin Castle
Castle and Rath - The bailey is an adapted oval rath, 32m across, 2.2m high & enclosed by a stone curtain wall, which survives up to 1.8m high externally. There are entrances at NE & E. The keep was at least 2 storeys high c1252 -- Built by --
Maurice Fitzgerald (1252), O'Neill, Magennis?
Drumballyroney, Seafin J22053880
NISMR database
Seaman castle Ruin
Sketrick Castle (Skettrick) Ruin Tower and Bawn - Access to the island was through a narrow passage at the base of the tower, with a guard room on one side & the kitchen on the other. The tower-house is 4 stories high, with the upper stories divided into 2 chambers. The upper stories are mostly ruined, due to the collapse of the latrines. The passageway was blocked. 1470 -- Castle Captured -- ???
MacQuillan (15th? century)?
Ardkeen, Sketrick Island J52456252 State Care
NISMR database
Strangford Castle Full* Tower-House - The tower-house was possibly built in the later C15th & was much altered in the late C16th. The building is square in plan & comprises a basement & 2 floors with attics. It had a 1st floor entrance, which is unique for a tower-house in Co.Down. It is now entered at ground level. The building was considerably restored shortly after 1960 when it was taken into State Care. 16th century? Ballyculter, Strangford J58864979 State Care
NISMR database
Tara Fort
A Celtic defensive farmstead. (ring-fort?)
the Tower (Near King's Castle)
Tower at Drumbo Partial
Trevor's Castle None Castle? 1611-12 -- Built by -- Kilbroney, Rosstrevor J170180
NISMR database
Tyrone's Ditches None
Walshestown Castle
Tower-House and Bawn - Set in the abandoned walled garden of Myra Castle, the tower-house probably dates to the late C16th & is described in ASCD as oblong, 8.8m x 8m externally "...of 4 storeys with small turrets rising a stage higher at the N & S angles...the structure has been considerably altered in modern times...". Large windows, probably in place of original ones have been inserted in the NW & SE walls, the roof & internal floors are modern & the entrance has been rebuilt at ground level. The bawn was enclosed by a wall 1m thick & enclose an area 13.7m across. 16th century tower? Saul, Walshestown J54514982
NISMR database

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