Saturday 18 June 2011

Puck's Castle Co Dublin

                                              Above Image: The inner stairs

                                 Above Image: Today's residents of Puck's Castle

Puck's Castle lies in a grazing pasture in the Parish of Rathmichael in South East Co Dublin. Not Much is known about it except that it is the ruins of a 16th century fortified house which apparently provided shelter for James II in retreat from the Battle of The Boyne. The ruin is now seriously crumbling although there is still much of a stone stairs intact inside.The name "Puck's" derives from the Gaelic "Pooka" which is a ghost or spirit and lends to the local legends of it being a haunted spot. Access to the Castle is prohibited by a locked gate with a beaten up no trespassing sign. If there is no one around you could jump over the gate and make a quick visit, but on any occasion we have been there it is usually surrounded by  grazing Cows. These timid looking creatures are fine but unfortunately they are protected by the Castlehunter's greatest foe.....the resident Bull. This creature eyed us up directly, almost goading us to just try and climb over that gate. Nonetheless it is a good place to visit on a fine evening as we did during June. Beware, if the Bull doesn't get you the hordes of flies certainly will!
Addendum: We revisited Pucks in May 2012 and not a cow to be seen, so over the gate we went for a quick browse of the interior. These Photos have been added to this post.
To find Puck's Castle take the R117 from Kilternan to Enniskerry. After you have passed the Blue wooden Church in Kilternan take the first left after the service station . This is the R116 Ballycorus Rd. Travel along this road and take the 2nd right hand turn Puck's Castle Lane. You will find the castle a few hundred yards up the lane on your left. It is possible to park tightly against the gate as there are no other nearby spots on this narrow lane.


  1. I am interested in Puck's Castle as my great great great grandfather (George Byrne) was born at Puck's Castle in 1826. He married Elizabeth Lennen and together they owned a fairly substantial farming property at Dunlaoghaire. What I would like to know is is Puck's Castle an actual place, like a village, and does it have a church as I am not sure where to start looking for records of my ancestors births/nmarriages/deaths etc. However I love these photos, I did't realise that Pucks Castle was an actual fort, oh to know the history of these old places.

  2. Hi Jeanne

    As far as I am aware Puck's Castle is the actual fort.It doesn't hold any village status but it was not uncommon for people living near a castle like this to state their birthplace as within the Castle environs. Puck's Castle lies near the town land of Rathmichael which contains a lot of historical sites. I would start with the Church records in that area. The O'Byrnes were a very prominent Clan. I wish you the best of luck in your search and thank you for your kind comments on the photos.

  3. Deadly castle, I saw it with friends recently at night and the view from the top wall - of Dublin lit up - is increidible! Great pics.
    Jamie Power

    1. Thanks Jamie! You went up there at night? Fair play to you.

  4. Have just been up as I live nearby
    Quiet ruinous but still lots of features packed into it

  5. We were always told in our family that this was one of the castles of the Walshes (Breatnaigh) of Carrickmines who came in with or on the heels of the Norman invasion of 1169. I had assumed we lost in the Cromwellian confiscations but if the Byrnes ended up living in it fair enough since the Breatnaigh probably took the land from them in the first place.

    I have visited the site a couple of times and was saddened to see no evidence of preservation work (although we have no intention of reclaiming it and moving in).

    Great photos, go raibh maith agat.

  6. Any idea who owns this. Does the DLRC or is it privately owned. Shane to see it fall apart more and more each year. Where as the English restore and protect these type of structures

  7. My understanding Ross is that it belongs to the family.

    I agree with you. It should be owned by the State, presumably through the Office of Public Works.

    I believe that the Gombeen class in ireland is not really interested in history or native culture. Its own history is a grasping climb from the time of the Great Hunger, on the backs of its own native people, chortling in its little "cute hoor" escapades and yielding everything of real importance to the invader. There is not much to celebrate in that history, to be fair. So now it looks no further back than the rung upon which it is perched and the next one above.

  8. A beautiful place to visit. Features very much intact .A pity it is not protected.
    Cows very much in evidence!!