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Ballycarroll Townland, Templemaley Parish

Information on Ballycarroll Townland collected by the Clare Townland Fieldname Survey

Ballycarroll is a townland in the parish of Templmaley and the district of Corofin Co. Clare. According to James Frost’s History and Topography of Co. Clare, the Gaelic ‘Baile ua Chearbhaill’ translates as O’Carroll’s residence.

There is a registered castle in this townland, Ballycarroll Castle, with the SMR No CL025-172001, the castle ring work CL025-172003 and the bawn CL025-172002. Other monuments recorded in the townland include, Kylebegadrummeen children’s burial ground SMR No CL025-171, two enclosures SMR Nos CL026-025001(ringfort) and CL026-026 (Ballycarroll caher), a cairn SMR No CL026-025002 and a fulacht fiadh or ancient cooking pit SMR No CL026-163. The legend of Ballycarroll caher tells the story of children who played inside the fort and moved some of the stones within it. It is said that until these stones were replaced the children suffered high fevers at night and were constantly thrown from their beds.1

Ballycarroll Castle is mentioned by Frost as being registered to Conor McClancy in the year 1580.

“Three old castles stood in Templemaley, one at Ballyallia now wholly demolished, another at Drumeen, and a third at Ballycarroll. In 1580 Ballyallia belonged to Dr. James Neylan, Ballycarroll to Conor M‘Clancy, but no account remains of the owner of Drummeen...”

In agreement with this statement are the earlier Ordnance Survey Letters of 1839 by John O’Donovan and Eugene Curry. They also confirm that ownership of the castle was under the name of Conor McClancy. In addition to this they also refer to the castle as ‘Caislean-Maol’ or the bald / gable-less castle. According to a project carried out in the parish of Templmaley, it is believed that the stone used to build Ballycarroll Castle was taken from the monastery at Killian, another townland situated in this parish. Apparently the roof has never stayed on this castle because of were the building material came from.2

Another interesting insight into the history of Ballycarroll, as mentioned by Frost, is that Murrogh O’Brien (the Tanist) divided his estates between his three sons during the reign of Elizabeth. His eldest son Dermot, the Baron of Inchiquin acquired the townland of Ballycarrol in his share of the estate.

Placenames in Ballycarroll shown on 1842 Ordnance Survey Map

1 Schorman, S. 1996-8. Archaeological / historical sites in the parish of templemaley. P 14.
2 Schorman, S. 1996-8. Archaeological / historical sites in the parish of templemaley. P 16.


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