A guide to the best
and sometimes off the
beaten track historical
ruins around Ireland and
how to get there.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
Carbury Castle Co. Kildare
Carbury castle is the ruin of the 17th century tudor mansion of the Colley family built on a motte from the middle ages. The ruin although now crumbling into disrepair within, still stands firm with most of the outer walls intact. It is a little precarious to walk around in some spots but there is one doorway that leads to a sort of veranda outside from which the views are magnificent. It is easy to see why it was placed in such a strategic location. From the 'veranda' you can also get a good view of the nearby L-shaped walled graveyard with some very old gravestones. This can be accessed by climbing over two stiles. Do not attempt to enter any other field as there is a Bull at large and this is widely signposted. To Find Carbury castle leave the M4 motorway at junction 9. Take the R402 through Johnston Bridge and continue until you spot the castle on the hill to your right just before Carbury village. Signs on the gates of the field leading up to the castle state 'By invitation only'. This is mainly to ensure that gates are not left open for livestock to roam out onto the road and for insurance purposes. It is always wise and repectful to ask beforehand in one of the local houses if it is OK to proceed and always close gates behind you. A local pointed out that access can also be gained from the grounds of the local Church of Ireland, but that the walk is longer.
I am familiar with Carbury Castle ruins and I am convinced that there is more of the castle below ground than there is above ground. I feel that a SKILLED excavation would be very interesting and revealing.ReplyDelete
Hi, that sounds very interesting indeed. Do you suspect that there might be a lower floor or a cellar perhaps?.Delete
Yes, I suspect that there may be more than one floor below taking regard to the external height from the ground outside the structure to the level within. There is also a large pit within, completely overgrown, hard to access without a ladder, which demonstrates at least one floor below the two arches. Inside one of the arches, if you look carefully, you can see the top apex of an arched doorway which must lead down.
It is my own contention, (correct me if I am wrong), that at the time that the castle was finally assaulted, that the roof and at least two upper floors collapsed on top of the arches, half burying them and completely burying all below them.
Taking an optimistic guess and taking the deepness of the motte itself into account, I would suspect that there are up to three floors below the arches possibly,(indeed probably), with rooms and corridors still intact.
Hi Ebenezer Joan,ReplyDelete
That's an amazing thought. If only an excavation could be made. I must make it my busuness to make another visit and have a closer look at what you describe. It's roughly five years since I was there
Hi I believe this is not a listed building, what is the criteria for this as a local informed me yesterday that a large building of a wealthy builder nearby was 'enhanced' using materials from the ruinsReplyDelete
Apparently this is the criteria:Delete
A 'listed building' is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest and included on a special register, called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
"Listed building" is a UK designation. In Ireland there are either "Protected Structures" (same as Listed Buildings) and "Recorded Monuments" (scheduled monuments in the UK). A protected structure is a county council designation which prevents development but does not prevent degredation. A Recorded Monument is statutorily protected with the legal responsibility to maintain and care for the monument normally falling to the landowner. It comes under the National Monuments Service remit. Carbury Castle is both a protected structure and a Recorded Monument. If you have concerns or knowledge of damage to a Recorded Monument the council can only go so far but the National Monuments Service have Area Archaeologists who will investigate and they rely on public engagement to make sure damage is reported. I suggest you contact the landowner and the NMS on 01 8882000 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. (I am a professional archaeologist but do not work for the NMS and although I do not know the site personally I was directed to this blog as there was a discussion about damage to the structure). The formal history of the castle and surrounding monuments can be interrogated on the NMS Historic Environment Viewer here: http://webgis.archaeology.ie/historicenvironment/Delete
I spend many a happy day up THR michin school lovely place to b4ReplyDelete
Well I spend many a happy day up THR michin school lovely place to beReplyDelete
Hi! I am a decedent of Dudley Colley, he was my 10th Great Grandfather. I would love to visit the ruins and see the cemetery. Is there a way to get permission in advance or do I just hope someone nearby is home the day I go visit?ReplyDelete
In my own case I met a local who just advised that all gates be shut behind you so cattle won't wander. I don't think you will need to seek out anybody as lots of people go up there. There is a track from the grounds of the local Church of Ireland up to the castle and from there a short walk to the cemetery. There is a beware of the bull sign near the cemetery but we never encountered him. One piece of advise choose a dry day as it is mostly grass you'll be walking on.Delete
I live down the road the castle is open to public all year round both day and night no need for booking just park your car and hop over the wall and take the short walk to the castle stay on the trail as locals have live stock in adjacent fieldsDelete
Thanks for sharing that info Gav.Delete
I am also a decedent of the Coley’s and hoping to visit. Approximately how far a walk is it from the road to the castle?ReplyDelete
Hi Cheyanne, I was just at Carbury Castle today. I live nearby and took a walk up there today. I found a headstone inscribed in a crypt like structure belonging to Dudley Colley. I'm unsure if this was your 10th great grandfather as i could not see a date. I returned home to research Dudley Colley and this thread came up!! The Castle and its cemetery can be accessed via stiles. I'm sure gates can be unlocked as the cemetery is still in use. Don't worry about the bull signs...it is mostly grazed by sheep and I'm sure the bull signs are to deter visitors to the site as it is farmland. Lovely to know that decents of this wonderful castle are still out there. I grew up in Carbury and our teachers taught us lots of local history. The village of Carbury is beautiful too and really fitting to be overlooked by the castle.ReplyDelete
Hi all. I was in Carbury Castle like 3 months ago and found a stone with some description and date. The date is 1/6/59, you can find pictures of it on the Google maps photos. While visiting the castle today i couldn't find it again, probably was taken by someone. That's a good example that this site should be preserved. So many visitors and so many treasures of this place are gone forever.ReplyDelete
I agree entirely. Thanks for posting.Delete
I plan on going to carbury castle at some point this week and I was wondering is it open to the public? I was looking at Google Street view to become familiar with where I'd get off the bus etc and saw that the entrance to the castle is through a gate down the side of someone's house. Is there any other way of getting in? Just making sure as I really don't want to get in trouble for trespassing or something.
Hello. My maiden name is Colley and was told by my Grandfather that is where his family came from. I am hungry for information and might possibly want to make a trip to Ireland. I am living in Missouri USAReplyDelete
My grandma was from Missouri as well. But we are branched from the side of the family that changed their last name to Wellesley. Here is some family info from Wikipedia. It's accurate.Delete
Anyone local out there got any info on the Colley name in association with Carbury for the lady above?ReplyDelete
Thanks for the info. I did end up visiting in April of 2019. It was beautiful. Just a tiny bit of rain. We did see the bull but he kept his distance.ReplyDelete
Hope you had a great visit Cheyanne!Delete
Delighted you got to visit this gem. I pass Carbury Castle every day and grew up in Carbury itself. Many a happy day was spent exploring the castle during the Summer months.Delete
Hi Liz thanks for checking out the blog. Carbury is a beautiful spot and must have been a great place to grow up in. I must visit again soon.Delete
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