|Location||3 miles (5 km) south of Corofin, County Clare, Ireland|
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O'Dea Castle is an Irish fortified tower house, loosely described as a castle at Dysert O'Dea (Irish: Dísert, meaning "hermitage"), the former O'Dea clan stronghold, 5 km from Corofin, County Clare just off the R476 road.
It was built between 1470 and 1490 by Diarmaid O'Dea, Lord of Cineal Fearmaic, and stands some 50 feet high on a limestone outcrop base measuring 20 feet by 40 feet.
Clare Archaeology Centre
The tower is the site of the Clare Archaeology Centre, with exhibits of local archaeological artefacts from 1000 BC to 1700 AD, local history over the last three centuries, and a wall walk of parts of the castle.
The Dysert O'Dea Archeology Trail includes sites around the tower, including the remains of the Dysert O'Dea Monastery.
In 1968, John O'Day of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, USA, while touring Ireland, discovered that the tower was for sale. Between 1971 and 1983, he purchased it, and repaired what remained of it. Dysert O'Dea has become one of the most visited sites in Clare and continues to be a site of valuable archaeological investigation. It has also won the "Clare Tourism Award" for being one of the most authentically rebuilt castles in Ireland.
Site description from Irish Tourist Board:
Dysert O'Dea Castle and Archaeological Centre in Corofin is known for its wealth of historical and archaeological remains. Built in 1480 the castle is now an archaeological centre with more than twenty five archaeological and historical sites. Notable aspects are the 15th century Dysert O'Dea Castle itself, two stone forts used during battles between local noblemen in the 16th century and the Saint Tola's High Cross, which dates from the 12th century. There is also an example of a fulacht fiadh, or ancient cooking site. An archaeological trail has been developed to highlight 25 of the field monuments within a 6km radius of the Castle, the most famous of which include a Romanesque Doorway (dating from the 12th century) and High Cross.
Romanesque doorway in Dysert Church
See also↑Jump back a section
- Ua Croinin and Breen comment in The Other Clare, 1985: "The castle itself is more correctly designated a tower-house as it falls easily in the category of such fortified houses built in great numbers throughout the southern part of Ireland between 1400 and 1600." (Detailed reference below.)
- Caisleán Uí Dheá Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
- Dysart O'Dea Castle, Co. Clare by Risteard Ua Croinin and Martin Breen, The Other Clare, Volume 9, page 17. Shannon Archaeological and Historical Society, April 1985.
- Clare Archaeology Centre - official site
- O'Dea Clan Site
- O'Dea Castle entry in Placenames Database of Ireland
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