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A Survey of Monuments of Archaeological and Historical Interest in the Barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare by William Gerrard Ryan

Part 4: Castles and tower houses c.1500
Chapter 43: Kilnasoolagh Parish


Nat. Grid Ref. R400692; ½” Sheet 17

R.C. Parish : Newmarket-on-Fergus
Townland : Rathfolan
6” O.S. Sheet number : 42 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 9.3 cm South; 44.2 cm West
Height (G.L.) : 100’ O.D.
1” O.S. Sheet number : 133 (Sixmilebridge)

A man who lived in this area until his death in recent years used to talk about this site. In his younger days, c. 1900 A.D. it was possible to enter the site and climb, via cut-stone spiral steps, to at least a second storey. At that period the site was in a fair condition and most of its main features were traceable.

Since then Rathfolan “Castle” has been very badly damaged. First, when some castles in the area were being restored – Knappogue, Bunratty and Mooghaun were mentioned by name – some cut-stone was removed from this site. However more serious damage was done in recent years by Clare County Council who levelled most of the site and used the stones collected in road making.

Field examination found irregular scattered mounds of rough stone, part of the original castle at Rathfolan. No site plan could be drawn or clear photographs taken.


Frost, J.,
1893, page 191
(Quoting the College List Frost states that in 1580 A.D. this tower house was owned by Donogh O’Brien of Leimaneh).
O’Donovan and Curry,
1839, pages 80, 81,138.
According to O’Lionain, quoted by these Authors, Rathfolan Tower House was erected by Loghlin, son of Teige (MacNamara?).