Ballycarbery Castle, Cahersiveen

4.5
#1 of 18 in Things to do in Cahersiveen
Ballycarbery Castle is a castle 3km from Cahersiveen, County Kerry, Ireland. The castle is high on a grass hill facing the sea and is a short distance from Cahergall Fort and Leacanabuile Fort.HistoryThere was some kind of residence situated on the site of the castle as early as 1398 however the present ruins were constructed in the 16th century. It was noted as a McCarthy Mor castle by some sources at that time but whether it was occupied by the McCarthy Mors or their wardens the O'Connells is unknown. The castle was passed onto Sir Valentine Browne following the death of its owner Donal McCarthy More. In 1652 it was attacked by cannon fire from Parliament forces during the War of the Three Kingdoms. In the 18th century a house was built on the site using the barn wall and it was inhabited by the Lauder family. This house was demolished in the early 20th century.Structure: Ballycarbery CastleThe castle was surrounded by a high wall with less than half still remaining. There are arrow slits dotted along the bottom of the remaining wall. A staircase remains inside one part of the wall however is not easily accessible.The ground floor of the castle was made up of several chambers but only one chamber is still roofed and walled. It's a large chamber with a quite high roof and in one corner a staircase leading upstairs.There are two different staircases leading to the first floor and there is also a path up the back of the castle since the whole back wall is missing. One of the staircases is up on a height inside the ground floor chamber and is in very good condition. The other is entered from outside the chamber and is slightly damaged.
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Ballycarbery Castle Reviews
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4.5
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  • We arrived and were alone! We didn't see any signs, so we open the fence and entered. The castle is in ruins, solitary. Is still standing a ladder to climb to the first floor and look down the stairs of the archers (caution!)
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  • It was beautiful but alas not that much to see so don't expect an amazing structural wonderment, its more for a photo shoot with the most luscious green hills and fields and water around. Take a broll...  more »
  • What a fantastic castle! Free to see! Used in a few movies, I think! I was there before it closed to the public. There are no fences or handrails,and one kid evidently fell off the castle (it's high!)...  more »
Google
  • While a beautiful ruin there was no access to the castle, the gate was locked with signs saying no access. Having read other reviews it seems others were able to access the site no problem so not sure of what the deal is there. But it is still a magnificent ruin from the car park. History doesn't seem all that exciting but if you don't have much time to visit other places then it is a good quick stop, take some nice photos and then go explore the forts. The road is quite windy so take it with care.
  • Get hidden gem about 10 minutes off of the ring of Kerry. Very narrow roads and a small parking area. A great 15 minute stop to explore and take pictures. There was a local there offering pictures for you to hold a lamb and asked for €3 in return. I was ok with that since it's a cute picture.
  • Not a tourist spot. It was just a blip on our map, no description or anything. We found it and it was amazing. you can climb in all of the ruins. Not crowded at all. The hillside was green and the ivy was growing. It was an unexpected surprise that made our trip magical.
  • Worth a stop while driving the Ring of Kerry. It's free to explore and makes some great photo ops. Why didn't they use the real Ballycarbery Castle in Leap Year?
  • This isn't just another bloody castle. Really cool in it's remoteness and inscrutability. Who lived in this enormous castle? What was life like for them at the edge of the world? This particular site brought out the gleeful, wondrous child in my husband, which was fun to see.

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