Old Crom Castle, County Fermanagh

Romantic ensemble of ruins and sham ruins set in exquisite parkland on the shores of Lough Erne. At the core of the complex are the remains of a castle built in 1611 by a Scottish planter, Michael Balfour, which in 1629 com prised a bawn 61 feet square with walls 15 feet high, two flankers and a house of "lime and stone" 22 feet square. In 1644 it was acquired by the Crichtons, ancestors of the Earls of Erne, and later enlarged so that the dwelling occupied the whole area of the bawn. It successfully with stood two ferocious Jacobite sieges in 1689, but later succumbed to an accidental fire in 1764 and was never rebuilt.

Today the remains of the castle comprise two gables and a flanker, with the remainder surviving only as founda tions. In the 1830s, when the Crichtons built a grand new residence some distance to the north, these ruins were transformed into a picturesque folly with the addition of ruined walls and towers forming a sham bawn. Impressive battlemented terraces were also built around the garden to the south, where the famous pair of 400-year-old yews stand, one male and one female, at the site of the original entrance to the plantation castle garden.

Located in Crom Demesne 4 miles W of Newtownbutler.
NGR: H 363238.
National Trust Property. Open daily April to September.
Car park charge at visitor centre about a quarter of a mile E of castle.