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Cloughoughter Castle.


Cloughoughter Castle is located on a tiny island in Lough Oughter part of the Erne river system, Cloughoughter Castle despite its small size has been prominent in Irish history. It is thought to have been built by William Gorm de Lacy between 1200 and 1224, possibly on the site of a crannog. The area in which it stands was once the territory of the O'Rourke's kingdom of Breifne.

By 1223 East Breifne came under the control of the O'Reilly clan who enlarged it to its present height, from then on Cloughoughter Castle played a significant role in the ongoing power struggle between the O'Reilly's and the O'Rourke's.

During the plantation the castle became a target for the English, it was captured by Sir Richard Wingfield who granted Cloughoughter Castle to Captain Hugh Culme, who built a residence on the south shore of the lake.

During the 1641 rebellion the O'Reilly's were once again in control using the castle as a prison holding the Bishop of Kilmore, William Bedell, his two sons, his son-in-law and Arthur Culme in a room at the top of the tower. Cloughoughter Castle fell to Cromwell's forces, to prevent its future use the castle was destroyed with gunpowder in 1653.

During restoration work in 1987 many finds were made most dating from the 17th century, at this time four skeletons were discovered three males and one female, these may have been causalities of the 1653 siege.

Owen Roe O'Neill is said to have died in Cloughoughter Castle on 6th November 1649 when on his way to join the earl of Ormond in their struggle against Cromwell.

Tourist Information

Located on an island in Lough Oughter
3 miles SE of Killeshandra and S of Killykeen Forest Park.