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Rossbrin Castle

Ruined tower house

The remains of this tower house, now leaning at quite a perilous angle, dates from the 14C. It is a very sturdy construction with thick walls, built on a rocky outcrop and with magnificent views out into Rossbrin Bay. Originally four storeys high, the ceilings and much of the walls have collapsed, heightening the interior ground floor levels and making the arched entrance doorway seems disproportionately low. It was once the home of Finghinn o Mathuna, the Scholar Prince, who died in 1496. He was famous for his scholarship and hospitality and Rossbrin became a centre of learning under his guardianship. By the mid 1500s though the family seems to have forgotten the scholarship and turned to piracy.  Donal o Mahoney was charged with piracy and duly hung in 1562.

Through private farmland, from the harbour
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I have tried  to visit this enigmatic ruin before and although its profile is clearly visible from the approaching road, it seems to disappear once you get close. Armed with instructions how to get there, and in the knowledge that the surrounding farm and land was up for sale, I ventured onto the headland. It sits in the most wonderful and commanding position, elevated on its little rocky pedestal,  but is now little more than a shell, half a shell at that as much of the walls, ceilings and rooves have gone.  Jackdaws roosted above otherwise nothing disturbed the peace.