Ballinafad Castle,
County Sligo

This neat little castle was built as a government military post by Captain St Barbe around 1590 to defend an important pass through the Curlew Mountains, and hence is known as the Castle of the Curlews. It comprises an oblong block of three storeys over a raised basement with stout towers at the corners. There were square rooms in all the towers save the north, where there was a circular timber stair. The door at first-floor level was secured with a drawbar and had an internal grille or gate.

In the early 17th century the castle was garrisoned by a constable and ten warders. In 1642 it was attacked by the insurgent Irish and its defenders were forced to surrender due to lack of water.

Ballinafad village, 9.5 km ( 6 miles) N of Boyle on the Sligo Road. NGR: G 7808.