Not far from Hacketstown, in the east of County Carlow, outskirts of Clonmore village, can be found the ruin of Clonmore Castle. Of all the castles of County Carlow (and in the fifteenth century, there were at least one hundred and fifty) none has more impressive remains than that of the castle of Clonmore.
The castle once had to be truly magnificent and majestic, now is forgotten, neglected and broken.
It is believed to have been built at the end of the 12th century, possibly by Hugh DeLacey, and expanded in 1332 by Anthony DeLucy. The castle is now badly damaged.
The history of the castle, like many others in this area, was very turbulent, it underwent many attacks, incl. – in 1650 it suffered significantly after an attack by Cromwell’s army.
The remains indicate that the castle was built on a square plan with rectangular towers on the south side of the courtyard. In the part of the preserved southern wall of the castle there is a clover-shaped window, characteristic of 13th-century buildings, therefore it is assumed that this part of the castle was built at the end of the 13th century.
The ruins of the castle hide many chambers and corridors, but their condition does not allow visiting, you can see numerous cracks, crevices formed by bushes and trees growing into the ruins, so it is better to admire the castle only from the outside and also with caution.
If you want to see this castle, you have to be careful not to accidentally step in the cown shits. There was many cows in the field, walking in this area.
It is a pity that this castle has not yet come under the protection of Carlow County Council and has not been designated as a historic monument. The ruins are fenced, but there is no plaque with a description that I have seen on other castles.
To reach Clonmore Castle, take the N81 Dublin to Tullow and turn left at Baltinglass onto the R747 to Hacketstown. Upon arrival in Hacketstown, turn right past the very narrow Penny Hill Bridge. Then take a short drive straight right onto the L2005 with the Clonmore Castle sign. Drive up to 6km until we see the castle in front of us. You can park in a small area near the castle tower.
Location of Clonmore Castle:
Below my photos taken in July 2021