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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 42: Kilmurry Parish


Nat. Grid Ref. R458703; ½” Sheet 17

R.C. Parish : Sixmilebridge – Kilmurry
Townland : Drumullan
6” O.S. Sheet number : 43 (Co. Clare)
Reference : 20.3 cm South; 7.9 cm West
Height (G.L.) : 110’ O.D.
1” O.S. Sheet number : 133 (Sixmilebridge)


“…The old castle of Drummullin stands in good external preservation in the townland of the same name…”
                                              Curry, 1839, page 113 (Volume 2).

Field examination failed to find any trace of this site in spite of the above extract. Checking locally I was told that final traces of this site were levelled some years previously during land reclamation work. At that stage, local sources claimed, only minor traces of the “castle” existed, only a couple of metres high. Obviously the greater ruins, mentioned by Curry in 1839, had collapsed or been knocked down some time previously. Frost’s reference, 1893, page 59, suggests that the site may have been in quite a poor condition by his time (1893).

During this reclamation some swords, knives, etc were said to have been found. Locals do not know of the location of these finds.

The actual castle was built on the north shore of Drumullan Lough, within a few metres of the lake. Field examination noted an area of outcrop here, on which the site was constructed. This was 35 metres long (east-west) by 12 metres wide (north-south). Such outcropping rock would have kept the site both dry and above the possible flood level of the lake.

Entrance to the “castle” would probably have been from the higher ground to the north rather than via the marshy land to the east and west.

There is no information available as to when this site was constructed. In the case of other sites one could examine the surviving ruins and give a suggestion but not so in this case.

We do know, from the College List, that the site was owned by one Covea Mac Namara in 1580 A.D. Otherwise there is no information available on it.


O’Donovan, O.S. Letters (1839), Volume 2, page 113
Frost, 1893, page 59
Westropp, 1899, page 363