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Portumna Castle, Portumna

#13 of 51 in Historic Sites in County Galway
Castle Tourist Spot
Portumna Castle and Demesne occupy a magnificent location on the shores of Lough Derg on the River Shannon. Although gutted by fire in 1826, the Castle is still an imposing example of Irish architecture of the early 17th Century. Built before 1618 by Richard de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanricarde, the castle became the main seat of the de Burgo family for over 200 years.

Architecturally, the building marks the transition from the medieval Tower House to the Renaissance style manor house with complimentary influences from both periods. Following the fire and the ravages of time, the castle degenerated into a roofless shell. However, since 1968, the Office of Public Works re-roofed the building and based on extensive archaeological and historical research, other major conservation and partial restoration works continue to be carried out by a team of skilled craftsmen.

The imposing façade of the castle faces north and is approached by a long avenue and formal gardens. The dramatic approach has three formal enclosures which contain geometric and regular plantings, an old shrub rose garden and a walled kitchen garden, all combining to re-create a sense of the original 17th century setting.

The ground floor of the castle is open to the public and houses an exhibition on the history and restoration of the building and the de Burgo family. The virtual reality DVD presentation adds to the exhibition, bringing the story to life.

Portumna Castle is surrounded by the towns' local attractions – Lough Derg, the River Shannon and Portumna Forest Park. Activities include golfing, hiking, go-karting, various heritage sites and more, which makes Portumna and its surrounds a really worthwhile area to visit.
To visit Portumna Castle on your trip to Portumna, use our Portumna tourist route planner.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
139 reviews
  • Outstanding grounds and garden. Great example of an Irish Castle but the inside was damaged by fire many years ago and it is not fully restored. But you can see many structural aspects that are of int...  more »
  • We visited the castle on a rainy afternoon with two bored young boys. The first surprise was the lovely OPW receptionist or should I say historian. Marian was great craic, highly knowedgable and very ...  more »
  • Did a visit here yesterday. Found the lady on reception to be very knowledgeable and interesting. Although the castle itself has only the ground floor open as an information hall, I really enjoyed the...  more »
  • Was recommended in the Workhouse that I see 'the other side of the coin' and it was worth doing. The gardens were lovely (we got a sunny day) and it was really peaceful. Visiting both Workhouse and Castle was sobering...
  • The building is impressive, the history is one to learn about and it a must to visit the Irish Workhouse in Portumna, then decide how you feel about the castle once knowing the history. Yet the castle like I say is impressive and the kitchen garden is beautiful and the grounds stunning.
  • 17th century architecture.
  • Great castle with beautiful gardens. Well worth a stop!
  • Not something you should pay for, not much to see inside. It's basically just a shell.

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