Carrigaholt Castle,
County Clare

Set on the verge of a cliff overlooking the Shannon estuary, this is a tall, well-preserved tower house built around the end of the 15th century. The castle was occupied by Teige Caech "the shortsighted" MacMahon, in 1588 when seven ships of the Spanish Armada anchored at Carrigaholt. The following year the renegade fourth Earl of Thomond captured it after a fourday siege and, in breach of the surrender terms, hanged all the defenders. Ownership then passed to the Earl's brother, Donal, who was responsible for inserting many of the castle's windows as well as the fireplace on the fifth floor, which bears the date 1603. Donal's grandson, the celebrated third Viscount Clare, raised a regiment of horse known as the "Yellow Dragoons" for James II's armies. After the forfeiture of his extensive 57,000-acre estate by the Williamites, the castle was acquired by the Burton family who held it until the present century.

11km (7 miles) SW of Kilkee. NGR: Q 848512.