Inchiquin Castle, County Clare

Alfred Webb
The Illustrated Dublin Journal
March 15, 1862
Volume 1, Number 28
Inchiquin Castle

Inchiquin Castle

THE lake of Inchiquin is situated in the parish of Kilnaboy, barony of Inchiquin, county of Clare, and is about two miles and a half in circumference.

One solitary island alone appears on its surface, unless that be ranked as one on which the ancient castle is situated, and which may originally have been insulated, though no longer so.

This castle, which is situated at the northern side of the lake, though greatly dilapidated, is still a picturesque and interesting ruin, consisting of the remains of a barbican tower, keep, and old mansion-house attached to it; and its situation on a rocky island or peninsula standing out in the smooth water, with its grey walls relieved by the dark masses of the wooded hills behind, is eminently striking and imposing.

It is from this island or peninsula that the barony takes its name; and from this also the chief of the O'Briens, the Marquis of Thomond, derived his more ancient title of Earl of Inchiquin.

For a long period it was the principal residence of tho chiefs of this great family, to one of whom it unquestionably owes its origin; but we have not been able to ascertain with certainty the name of its founder, or date of its erection.

There is, however, every reason to ascribe its foundation to Tiege O'Brien, king or lord of Thomond, who died, according to the “Annals of the Four Masters,” in 1466, as he is the first of his name on record who made it his residence, and as its architectural features are most strictly characteristic of the style of the age in which he flourished.