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Ballymore Castle a Towered House with a Storied Past

Ballymore Castle in Lawrencetown, County Galway, Ireland, is a historic tower house with a fascinating history that reflects the region’s rich cultural heritage. Originally built as a Madden tower house in the 15th century, the castle was later expanded and renovated, serving as a symbol of power and wealth for generations of its owners. This article will explore the history of Ballymore Castle, tracing its origins, its tumultuous past, and its significance in modern times.

Origins of Ballymore Castle

Ballymore Castle was built by John Lawrence in 1585 on the land he acquired through his marriage to the daughter of O’Madden. The castle was constructed as a symbol of Lawrence’s wealth and power, with its stone walls and towers standing as a testament to his status. The castle was later damaged in subsequent wars, and repaired by Lawrence’s son, Walter, in 1620.

Tumultuous Past of Ballymore Castle

Like many castles in Ireland, Ballymore Castle has a tumultuous past. In 1614, John Lawrence Jr. was dispossessed by Cromwell for espousing the royalist cause in the war of that time. The castle and much of his estate was given to Sir Thomas Newcomen, who leased the castle to the Lawrences for many years. On his death, it passed to Nicholas Cusack of Cushinstown, Co. Meath, who sold it to John Eyre of Eyrecourt around 1720. The Seymour family settled in the castle around 1700.

Over the years, the castle was subject to various conflicts and disputes, including the Irish War of Independence. However, it remained standing, a testament to the strength and resilience of its owners.

Present-Day Ballymore Castle

Today, Ballymore Castle stands as a symbol of the region’s rich history and cultural heritage. The castle has been modernised and renovated over the years, with a large house added in 1815 by the Seymour family. In the early 19th century, Thomas Seymour purchased the castle and lands outright from Giles Eyre, and the Seymour family remained in possession of the castle until the early part of the 20th century. The estate was later inherited by Mrs. Hale, a relative of the Seymours, with a large portion having been acquired by the Irish Land Commission.

Despite the changes and alterations it has undergone, Ballymore Castle remains an impressive and imposing structure, with its stone walls and towers standing as a testament to the skill and ingenuity of the builders who constructed it. As efforts to preserve and protect the castle continue, it is likely to remain a cherished and celebrated part of Ireland’s rich cultural heritage for generations to come.

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