Portumna is one of the prettiest towns in County Galway. It boasts a stunning location at the edge of the River Shannon and Lough Derg close to the Galway border with Tipperary. Portumna is renowned for its famous Portumna Castle & Gardens. Read on for more on this attraction…
Portumna Castle can be found just at the edge of Portumna town in quite a beautiful location next to Lough Derg and Portumna Forest Park.
Portumna Castle is actually more of a great semi-fortified house and was said to be one of the most significant residences to be built in Ireland during its time. The castle is a large rectangular house with three storeys and flanking towers and battlements at the top. It has both strong interior and exterior walls and was designed as first and foremost a defensive stronghold. The security of the castle was also strengthened by the establishment of three consecutive gate lodges on approach to the castle.
The castle was built about 1616 by a man of great power and wealth called Richard de Burgo (Burke). He was a decendent of the famous Norman clan – De Burgo, the 4th Earl of Clanrickarde and the Lord President of Connaught. It’s said that it cost De Burgo a staggering £10,000 to build the castle at that time.
In 1826 the house was gutted by an accidental fire and the family moved to the stables to live there until a new castle was constructed in 1862, which was again burnt to the ground in 1922. The last Marquis of Clanricarde sold the house to the state in 1948. The castle was carefully and extensivally restored and preserved and is now one of the top visitor attractions in the west. The parklands and woods (1,500 acres) surrounding the castle are now a wildlife sanctuary and home to lots of different little animals and deer.
Take a tour of the castle and see the interior, gardens and kitchen for yourself and also the ruins of a Dominican Friary. There are some interesting exhibitions too which tell the story of the De Burgo family and the castle itself which was the main seat of this powerful family for over 200 years
The castle is opened to visitors from March to October daily 10am – 6am. Tours last about 1 hour and there is a small fee at the door.