In this Parish are situated the remains of three Castles
which are mentioned in the list of the Castles of O’Loughlin Burren
preserved in the MS. Library of Trinity College, Dublin, Class E.2. 14.
These are:- (1) Ballyveaghane now Ballyvaughan; (2) Shanemuckenes; and
The Castle of Ballyvaughan (called in an Irish
Deed published by Mr. Hardiman Baile Uí Beacháin i.e., O’Beahan’s
Town) stood on the brink of the bay close to the village of the
same name. It is now destroyed and the site encroached upon by
A few fragments of its walls scattered about are the only vestiges
of this Castle.
The Castle of Shanmuckinis, now generally called
the Castle of Ballynacregga, is beautifully repaired by Captain
Kirwan of Dublin,
who has lately purchased
the land on which it stands from Blake of Mésslo and who intends
to live in it during the bathing season. It is a square castle measuring
twenty eight feet six inches by twenty five feet six inches and seventy
four feet in height. Two original chimney pieces of good limestone remain
which are worth sketching. The last O’Loughlin who lived
in this Castle was, according to tradition, Uaithne Mor, Antonius
his period is uncertain, though some are positive that he was living
in this Castle one hundred years ago.
The Castle of Muckinisnoe, i.e., New Muckinis,
is situated in the Townland of Muckinish East near Mr. Ryan’s
house and on the brink of Pouldoody, a place celebrated for oysters.
Only one side of
standing. It is said to have been built years after Shanmuckinish,
whence it was called New Muckinish.
There is another Castle at Newtown which is in good repair and inhabited
by Charles O’Loughlin, locally styled “King of Burren.” I
cannot identify this with any Castle of the O’Loughlins mentioned
in the list above referred to, and I incline to think that Newtown is
a new name for it, at least not its original name. (Duald Mac Firbis,
in his pedigree of the O’Briens, places a branch of that family
at Baile Nua in Burren, which is no other than this Castle).