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Clifden Castle, Clifden
(3.4/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
Clifden Castle is a ruined manor house west of the town of Clifden in the Connemara region of County Galway, Ireland. It was built c. 1818 for John D'Arcy, the local landowner, in the Gothic Revival style. Uninhabited after 1894 it fell into disrepair. In 1935, ownership passed to a group of tenants, who were to own it jointly, and it quickly became a ruin.HistoryJohn D'Arcy, founder of Clifden, had this house constructed for himself and his family even while he was busy building up the town. The Castle dates from around 1818 and served as the main dwelling of the large D'Arcy family for the next decades. The land surrounding it was among the first drained and reclaimed in the Clifden area by D'Arcy.In 1839, John D'Arcy died and his oldest son, Hyacinth, inherited the estate. However, Hyacinth was not as adept as his father at running the family properties and at dealing with his tenants. More disastrously, in 1845 the famine struck. Hunger, starvation and fever incapacitated large numbers of people as the potato crop failed. In desperation, many emigrated. As a consequence, rent income of the D'Arcy's plunged. On 21 September 1846, Hyacinth D'Arcy's tenants gathered en masse on his front lawn, begging for work or food.In the end, the D'Arcy estate went bankrupt and Clifden was one of several D'Arcy properties put up for sale on 18 November 1850. Thomas and Charles Eyre, brothers from Bath in Somerset and London, bought the Castle, most of the town and surrounding lands for 21,245 pounds. They had been the mortgagees of the estate since 1837, shortly before John D'Arcy's death.
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  • Be sure to wear the right shoes. You can't drive up to the castle. You have to park and then walk down to the castle. Beware the mud and slick rocks. Its all worth it once you get to the castle. It be...  more »
  • On our last day in Ireland on our honeymoon, we decided we wanted to find some kind of old, magical-feeling historical attraction; some kind of thing that would sum up our trip perfectly. This locatio...  more »
  • The walk isn't too long (maybe 20 min) from the gate along sky road, but it can be muddy and shaky. Many loose rocks kept our feet wobbling and almost tripped several times, but we were wearing very c...  more »