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Dunguaire Castle, Kinvara
(3.6/5 based on 340+ reviews on the web)
Dunguaire Castle is a 16th-century tower house on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay in County Galway, Ireland, near Kinvarra (also spelled Kinvara). The name derives from the Dun of King Guaire, the legendary king of Connacht. The castle's 75-foot tower and its defensive wall have been restored, and the grounds are open to tourists during the summer.HistoryThe 19th century Gaelic scholar John O'Donovan states in his Ordnance Survey letters for County Galway and his book The Genealogies, Tribes and Customs of the Hy-Fiachrach that Dunguaire was built by the Ó hEidhin clan, chiefs of Coill Ua bhFiachrach, the district around Kinvara, and also of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne an area coextensive with the diocese of Kilmacduagh covering the part of county County Galway between The Burren and Galway Bay to the west and Slieve Aughty to the east.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited Ireland in September/October, 2016 and while driving to Kinvara we stopped at this lovely castle. The castle was closed (despite being advertised as open during the hours and dates we were ...  more »
  • We did a quick stop for photos and enjoyed seeing how well the castle has been kept up. It adds a medieval feel to the harbor area. 
  • A place for quick visits, but that delights the undergrowth surrounding the Castle and extends for the stones that delves into the water! Perfect for some pictures.
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  • Described as the most photographed castle in Ireland, I think this is due to it being on a tourist Wild Atlantic Way route, rather than as its status as one of Ireland's best castles. The history of the place is long (see below) but once inside the curtain wall there isn't all that much to see. I would advise going round the back of the castle, leasning against the wall and taking in the views over the water. There also appears to be a potentially ruined little church on the adjacent island. The site is named after King Guaire who died in AD 617, and the fort associated with him (the site of Dúrlas Guaire or Ráth Dúrlais) has been suggested as either the current castle promontory fort or, more likely, the rath to the north-east of the towerhouse. The current castle is a 16th Century - circa 1520 - O'Hynes towerhouse, and the associated bawn was rebuilt in 1642. Virtually every 'nook and cranny' were beautiful pinkish flowers, using the castle walls like an Alpine plant uses as scree slope.
  • There was a private function in the Castle, so we weren't able to see inside. Next to the Castle is a beautiful lake and wetland which we dubbed "The Bog of Eternal Stench" due to its malodorous aroma. The reason for that became apparent when we came across a sewerage treatment project in progress on the other side of the lake in Kinvarra. No doubt it's more interesting when you are able to see the interior of the Castle.
  • Beautiful stop, picturesque place for great photos, I didn't make it in the castle but just walking around is lovely if you manage some good weather!!
  • Splendid, smaller castle on the waterfront. Amazing and beautiful location. Parking is free but limited. Admission is €6 as of 2016.
  • A pretty neat castle - though it was really a very nice farmhouse. Costs a bit to go up, but definitely worth it. They did a great job in making it interesting.