Near Clonfert, County Galway, Ireland
Late 15th or early 16th Century
This is NOT an official Lego site
This is one of those
castle projects that comes out of nowhere, and makes my hobby/avocation
a joy year after year. The owner and restorer of this fine Irish
tower emailed me in August 2016, hoping I'd had recent contact with the
American owner of Ballytarsna Castle in County Tipperary [which see].
He'd lost contact - but so had I... His castle was similar to
Ballytarsna in size, but with many subtle differences, so I thought "Why
not build a model?" The tower measures about 21 x 27 feet by 54
with the ground and first stories featuring a small room, a larger room
and the spiral staircase. The 2nd and 3rd stories feature a single
L-shaped room, with a garderobe on stories 1 and 2. The entrance is
guarded by a machicolation, a yett and a murder hole. The castle's
name derives from Gaelic "Breac Cluain" or speckled meadow.
The age of Brackloon
is unknown. None of my books about Irish castles mention Brackloon, and
internet sites usually quote "15th century O'Madden stronghold".
However, the current owner, Ken McLeod, thinks early 16th century more
likely, as the first mention of the castle is the 1547 Annals of the
Four Masters. In 1557 Brackloon was taken by the Tudor forces of
Mary I, who was attempting to rout the troublesome O'Connors from the
area. Rory O Madden was pardoned by Elizabeth I in 1570, and in 1574
both Brackloon and Cloghan Castles were returned to Owen O Madden.
Several O'Maddens are mentioned in Protestant or Catholic Inquisitions
in the early 17th century, but there is no mention of the castle being
captured until 1651, when cannon caused major damage to the upper
portion of the castle. The tower has been restored from a ruinous state in the
past 15 years.
The current owner, Ken McLeod, hired an architectural firm to do restoration plans for his
castle, but he apparently thought them a bit too modern looking, so the restored tower
looks a little different than the drawings.
of the Lego Model
Built October 2016
The tower from the
west. The path is now
an asphalt road.
The entrance view
features the machicolation
above the door, and a
largish garret window.
The most popular view,
from the south, high-
lights the corner bartizans.
Note the watch turret.
bawnside view shows
off staircase slits on the
left and garderobe slits
on the right.
Note the garderobe
chute empties into
the courtyard. Who
knew way back then!
bawn is presumed
to have been smallish -
just large enough to
shelter the herd of sheep.
The ENE top
highlights the steps in the
roof to the turret, and the
false Jacobean chimney .
The battlements on the
northwest side are through
a small door in the garret
Other Brackloon Castle pages:
Return to the main castle page.
Castles created by Robert Carney
Page designed & maintained by Robert Carney