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Cregg Castle, Corrandulla, County Galway

Built by the Clement Kirwin family in 1648, later inherited by Chemist, Richard Kirwin in 1754. Remains of his laboratory are still in the orchard. There is a Queen Anne bell tower in the yard, also a delightful little chapel in the castle. After the Kirwans came the Blakes (another of the Great Tribes), who stayed until 1947.

NOTES: Cregg's architecture is a bit difficult to understand. It is one of, if not, the last "fortified mansions" built in Ireland, located 9 miles north of Galway City near the village of Corrandulla on 165 acres. While parts of the building are clearly fortified - some walls upstairs are more than five feet thick - there's no outer wall or anything else to keep even a small contingent of soldiers from breaking in quickly. The years from 1600 to 1650 were a time of transition from the medieval era known to have had highly fortified tower houses, and the renaissance, when Irish manor homes were designed strictly for esthetics. West Ireland saw armed conflict at this time between the Irish and Cromwell's forces, and semi-fortified houses would present at least a psychological deterrent to poor tenant farmers, who might have considered rising up against their landlords. We assume the Kirwans designed Cregg with the same caution in mind. Strong walls cannot prevent all invaders, however. When Cregg Castle fell into the hands of the Blake family in the 18th century, local legend says it was lost in a game of cards! The Blake lineage died out and Cregg Castle was sold to an English couple in the nineteen forties. They carried out some restoration but after a few decades the castle fell into serious decline. Ann Marie Broderick's parents, Martin and Margaret Murray, purchased the property in 1972. Martin grew vegetables in the old walled garden and raised beef for the kitchen of his hotel in Galway. Patrick and Ann Marie Broderick ran the Castle as a well regarded B&B from 1990-2006. The Castle was sold in 2007 to an unidentified buyer. The Kirwans were the only family amongst the Tribes of Galway to establish an Irish origin, tracing a descent from the second son of Milesius, one of the original Gaels. They left many fine seats, including Cregg Castle, Castlehackett, Gardenfield, Glan and Woodfield.

Entry to Cregg Castle

Rounding the curve

Castle Front

Castle Back

The Great Hall

The Stairwell

The Front Wall

Cregg in Winter

Daily Life

Winter Views

The Bootscraper

Garden Walls

Side View of the Castle

Reminder of Kirwins of Old!

Cregg Castle Woodland

Cregg Castle in the snow