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15th Century Gaelic Ballyportry Castle, South of Galway Bay.

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Last updated: 02/10/2015
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  • Minimum stay:3 nights
  • Internet:No
  • Pets considered:Ask Owner
  • Wheel chair accessible:N/A

Corofin castle description

The tower house is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of the West of Ireland, the Burren part of County Clare to the South of Galway Bay. County Clare is a peninsula midway between Kerry and Connemara with the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Cliffs of Moher to the West, and the River Shannon as the boundary to the East.

The Burren is a protected landscape, famous for the beauty of the flowers in the limestone hills and the wealth of archaeology. A densely planted wood of deciduous trees marks one end of the 5 acre property. The landscape as seen from the roof of the castle is a pattern of small fields bounded by hedgerows that come into blossom in the early summer. Lakes that change in size with the seasons surround the castle.

Horses, cattle and donkeys graze nearby. Wild irises grow along a stream that makes a gentle sound as it tumbles through some stones, a sound that would have been heard in the centuries past as the Tower House was being built, a time before the New World was discovered by Europeans. The 5 acres of land around the tower house is roughly grazed by a horse and a donkey that belong to a neighbouring farmer.

The tower house stands on a small hill above and about 20 metres in from the adjacent road. A car parking space for about 6 cars is in off the road and there is a gate between the road and the parking space which is down hill from the castle.

The Atlantic Coast of the Burren is 45 minutes away in several directions, and day trips to the Aran islands can be easily arranged. Shark fishing boat trips can be arranged and pony trecking, and a day can be rounded off with an evening listening to quality traditional music of County Clare in one of the many traditional pubs.

The rich archaeology consists of prehistoric stone forts, dolmens, wedge tombs, and other stone enclosures,medieval churches and castles which provide walking and driving expeditions throughout the Burren.

The coast road offers spectacular views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The famous Cliffs of Moher are bounded by the beach at Fanore and Lahinch where surfing, swimming and a lifeguard service are available during the summer.

The small villages provide a variety of tearooms and pubs for a bite of lunch. Throughout the year on Fridays there is a street market in Ennis where organic local food and vegetables can be found.

For those who wish to stretch their legs the day might start with a climb of Mullaghmore to view the limestone rock terrain and flowers close at hand. An afternoons excursion to Caher Commaun, one of the many prehistoric stone forts that survive in the Burren could be followed by a stop at a pub overlooking the Carron Vally and then a leisurely drive along Liscannor Bay.

You may arrange with our housekeeper to prepare dinner for you in the evening, using locally sourced food of the best Burren quality. in this case you might purchase an interesting bottle of wine and an antiquarian book at Patrick Egan's pub and shop in Liscannor. You could stop in Ennistymon at the Courthouse art gallery and take a stroll through the small hilly town, with its river that cascades through the town.

The well known links golf course of Lahinch is worth a visit together with a stroll along the promenade to watch the surfers in their wetsuits who look like seals as they wade out into the Atlantic breakers of Liscannor Bay through out the year.

Further South and close to Loop Head is the Doonbeg golf course, and the lighthouse that marks the start of the Shannon Estuary.

Keywords: historic, historic house,castle, medieval, Atlantic, Burren, Clare, Galway, Shannon,


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Property Type

  • Castle

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals

Bedrooms: 6 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8, Beds for 8

Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom, 1 Half Bathroom

Other Amenities

  • Half a millenium of history is present in this late medieval Tower House, now an oasis of warmth and tranquility. Ballyportry castle has been beautifully restored with careful attention paid to retaining all original features and style, yet with modern comforts including good heating. It works very well for a family with teenage children or a multi generational family experience that will be memorable....moreless


  • CD Player


  • Botanical Garden
  • Churches
  • Museums
  • Restaurants
  • Ruins

Local Services & Businesses

  • Groceries
  • Massage Therapist
  • Medical Services

Leisure Activities

  • Bird Watching
  • Eco Tourism
  • Horseback Riding
  • Photography
  • Scenic Drives
  • Shopping
  • Sight Seeing
  • Walking
  • Whale Watching
  • Wildlife Viewing

Location Type

  • Downtown:

    The nearby county capital of Ennis has a winding medieval street pattern, small shops and pubs, rivers, swans, music and a good food market on Fridays....moreless

  • Lake View:

    7 lakes can be seen from the rooftop of the castle, all within 10 minutes distance by car...moreless

  • Monument View:

    The 15th century castle itself is a monument. The Burren area is known for the richness of archaeology....moreless

  • Mountain View:

    The distincive limestone hills of the Burren form the view from the entrance of the castle, and are part of a preserved landscape (The Burren) known for the most beautiful wild flowers...moreless

  • Ocean View:

    The Atlantic is within easy reach by car with a spectacular ocean view road along one side of Galway Bay and from the Cliffs of Moher there are views of Connemara and across to Kerry....moreless

  • Rural:

    Small fields with grazing cattle and horses surround the castle which is on a small winding road with views of the hills of Clare,small lakes and the preserved landscape of the Burren National Park....moreless

  • Village:

    The village of Corofin is nearby with shops, and the market town of Ennis is within a half hours drive. Other small villages with shops and pubs and good music are within a half hour drive in a car....moreless

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Cycling
  • Deepsea Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Golf
  • Golf Privileges Optional
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
  • Spelunking
  • Surfing
  • Swimming


  • Dining Area


  • Linens Provided
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Wood Stove


  • Catering Available
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Refrigerator


  • Balcony


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from 2 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
3 night min stay

Additional information about rental rates


  • Taxes Not included


A deposit for energy usage,breakages etc is required which is from Euro 600.00

This and all rental must be paid in full before arrival.

Payment can be made with a credit card through PayPal or with an electronic bank transfer. Full payment including a deposit for energy usage, damages etc is required before arrival.

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Last updated: 02/10/2015
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates


20 Miles
Nearest Airport
Shannon, Dublin, Cork
1 Miles
Nearest Barpub
20 Miles
Nearest Ferry
Liscannor, Doolin, Kilrush
15 Miles
Nearest Golf
8 Miles
Nearest Train
7 Miles
Nearest Motorway
8 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
20 Miles
Nearest Beach

Car: Necessary

The castle is surrounded by fields with grazing animals and the Burren is renowned for the juxtaposition of arctic and mediterranean flowers. Our guests come from far and wide to experience the beauty and wonder of Ballyportry Castle and the sense of Gaelic Ireland in the 15th and 16th centuries.

With expert guides you can learn about the local culture and the ongoing conservation of the Burren and the Aran islands, 'Eco consciousness' is now main stream and so is the growing sense of the relationship between the generations before us, for example with the earth and how our connection with it works.

In the summer Burren farm heritage tours are available with local farm owners.

1. Ballyportry is almost half a century older than Trinity College, Dublin. It was built in the decade of Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the Americas.

2. The best restored tower house in the country and the most intact that is offered for rental.

3. Fullest evocation of late 15th century castle atmosphere of any Irish buildings.

4. The late middle ages in Gaelic Ireland was a time of active culture, of intrigue, aristocracy and poetry.

5. The late 15th century Gaelic chiefs would have lived lives of privilege, culture, politics and warfare. It was a time of shifting political alliances.

6. Ballyportry castle was a home of the late medieval Gaelic chieftains, the O’Brien’s, who sprung from an ancient Celtic sept whose most famous king, Brian Boru, was High King of Ireland.

7. The year 2014 is a year of remembering Brian Boru as it will be 1000 years since the most famous battle in Irish history when he was the leader of the Irish forces against the Vikings. He decisively defeated the Vikings at the bloody battle of Clontarf at which he lost his life.

8. Restored by the American architect Bob Brown who, although without obvious Irish roots, fell in love with Ireland and it’s castles in the late 1960s.

9. Sympathetic restoration and subsequent researched conservation programmes have achieved the best example of medieval stone building conservation anywhere in Ireland.

10. Located at the edge of the finest surviving archaeological landscape in the west of Ireland.

11. Ballyportry Castle is between Kerry and Connemara, and inland from Galway Bay. It is beside the Burren National Park, well known for its range of plants and flowers and creviced sheets of limestone rock left formed by the Ice Age. Co Clare is a peninsula surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, which is about 45 minutes away by car from Ballyportry Castle.

12. Ballyportry castle is the finest habitable tower house in the south or west of Ireland, possibly in the whole country.

We find that most of our guests enjoy Dinner can be cooked and served to you on the night that you arrive. The best of traditional Irish musicians can play traditional music for you if arranged in advance of your visit.

A stay in a limestone 15th century towerhouse in a limestone landscape is a wonderful way to connect to your place in the world and to consider your own family and their doings.


Owner info

Year Purchased: 1999

About the owner: Ballyportry is a convivial and happy house and we imagine it to have been this way when it was built 500 years ago.The name translates as The Place of the Harpists. It is an ongoing conservation project, a work which continues. Our experience as an architect and an archaeologist has enabled us to care and restore this tower house in a well informed way. The intention is that this will be in use in another 200 years time as a house that is lived in and appreciated by guests and that they become excited by and about late medieval Gaelic Ireland.

Why the Owner Chose Corofin:
The Burren is a unique and beautiful landscape in ireland that is widely considered to be of European importance, and this is one of the finest examples of a 15th century Tower house(castle), built before Columbus sailed for the New World.

The Unique Benefits at this Castle:
You enter into a kitchen sitting room with a huge fireplace,a stone coffee table, a turf burning stove and well stocked bookshelves. There is good quality crockery and some serving dishes made in the local pottery. The fridge freezer and dishwasher and a large 6 burner gas range for cooking are the 20th century contribution to comfortable rustic living. The underfloor heating and the thick limestone walls retain the heat well. The tower house is furnished in an authentic way using fabrics in keeping with the late 15th century. The sheets and pillowcases are of linen, and wool blankets complete the dressing of the beds. All the furnishings reflect the time of late medieval Ireland, a time of hospitality, song, and poetry in Gaelic tower houses.From the entrance a winding stone staircase leads up 6 floors to the bedrooms and the impressive Great Hall at the top of the Tower House. An 6 meter high ceiling of exposed oak roof trusses, an open fireplace, couches and a table for dining. There is a second kitchen with dishwasher, fridge, and electric cooker that serve the Great Hall. Please note that the wonderful curving late medieval stone staircase may not suit small children of those with walking disabilities.

Contact us

Speaks: french



  • View from the South

    View from the South

  • Starting Supper

    Starting Supper

  • Dawn at the window

    Dawn at the window

  • Cattle by the stream

    Cattle by the stream

  • The Bawn gate

    The Bawn gate

  • Aran Islands ferry

    Aran Islands ferry

  • Killkee Races on the beach.

    Killkee Races on the beach.

  • The nearby Burren Landscape

    The nearby Burren Landscape

  • Downstairs Kitchen

    Downstairs Kitchen

  • Bedroom


  • Sunset


  • Looking out the front to the Bawn

    Looking out the front to the Bawn

  • A bright winters day.

    A bright winters day.

  • Atlantic Ocean on the Aran Islands (Summer)

    Atlantic Ocean on the Aran Islands (Summer)

  • The Aran Islands: Inisheer.

    The Aran Islands: Inisheer.

  • Lough Bunny

    Lough Bunny

VRBO #347375

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This listing was first published here in 2011.

Date last modified - Saturday, March 14, 2015

€600 per night (EUR)
Minimum stay: 3 nights
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Member since: 2011
Speaks: french
  • Response time: Within 24 hours
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Calendar last updated: 02/10/2015
Email owner

00 353 87 205 9957

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15th Century Gaelic Ballyportry Castle, South of Galway Bay.

Corofin #347375

6 BR  1.5 BA  Sleeps 8

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