Ballymoon Castle,
County Carlow

Like so many Irish castles, Ballymoon has no recorded history, but on architectural grounds it must have been built c. 1290-1310 and the most likely builders were the Carew family. The castle - as striking as it is unusual - comprises a courtyard about 80 feet square, delimited by granite walls, 8 feet thick and 20 feet high. The interior is now bare, but the walls' many embrasures, loops, fireplaces and doors bear witness to the former presence of two-storey ranges, some with cellars that delimited the enclosure. The fine double-fireplace on the north belonged to the great hall, while such features as the cross loops allow us to date the castle. It may not have been in use for very long; indeed, some argue it was never finished.

3 km (2 miles) E of Bagenalstown. NGR: S 738615.