Mallow Castle, County Cork

The old Desmond fortress on the Blackwater River at Mallow was granted in 1584 to Sir Thomas Norreys, Lord President of Munster and son of Queen Elizabeth's life-long friend, Lord Norreys of Rycote. He built a "goodly strong and sumptuous house, upon the ruins of the old castle, with a bawn to it about 120 foot square" sometime between 1593 and 1599. This building, whose shell still stands, is a three-storey gabled oblong, one room thick, with an attic floor and a cellar below the centre. At the front there are two octagonal corner turrets, one for a stair and a projecting turret in the middle for the entrance. There is also a turret at the centre rear for the main stair and latrines. The style is essentially English and early Jacobean with its high gables, single-stepped battlements and large mullioned windows, but the place was well-adapted for Irish conditions with numerous loop-holes for muskets, notably in the turrets and beneath the upper windows.

Mallow Castle held out against the Confederates under Lord Mountgarret in 1642, by which time it belonged to General William Jephson, whose mother, Elizabeth - a god-child of the Queen after whom she was named - was the daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Norreys. It was severely damaged after being captured by Lord Castlehaven in 1645 and appears to have been abandoned sometime afterwards. The Jephsons built a pleasant new house from the old stables and remained there until the 1980s.

Located on the east side of the town up from the demesne avenue.
NGR: W 562983.
National Monument.