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Blackloon Castle Clonfert County Galway Ireland
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Blackloon Castle   ~   Ballinasloe
Brackloon castle near Clonfert, was a 15c O'Madden stronghold. It was a scene of slaughter when the garrison were thrown off the battlements in 1651.

Brackloon derives its name from "Breac Cluain", the speckled meadow. The tower house is close to the village of Clonfert with its fine Norman Cathedral church.

Its strong walls, small windows, defensive, turrets and murder hole are ist main features. It is located to the south of the crossroads as one travels from Clonfert to Eyrecourt.
Blackloon Castle Clonfert County Galway Ireland
Brackloon was attacked many times and was captured in the 16th Century by the forces of the Queen, when Queen Mary ordered that troops sail up the Shannon from Athlone, and that the army march into Meelick to route out the troublesome O'Connors, who were hiding on the West Banks of the Shannon. The Castle was inhabited until the 1950's and was adapted as time went by. Its last inhabitants were local teachers in the nearby Clonfert School. This is one of many O'Madden tower houses still surviving in the region The tower consists of on the ground floor, an entrance on the south wall, fitted with an iron gate, this gate is the product of repair work carried out here in the early to mid 20th century. Inside on the left there is a guard room measuring 1.64 x 1.6 (5'5" x 5'3"), the roof of which is vaulted, the plaster still retaining evidence of the wicker formwork which was used to support the ceiling during construction. It is likely that the upper floors were timber, evidenced by the joist holes existing in the outer walls. The spiral stone staircase is to be found to the right on entering the building, contrary to common practice the stairs spiral anticlockwise. It appears that a murder hole may have existed which consisted of an opening in the floor above the entrance lobby. The purpose of this hole as the name implies was to stop the enemy from entering by being able to defend the base of the stairs from above. The castle is now without upper floors and roofless, however the main structure appears sound and is capable of restoration to form a unique and outstanding home.

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