Castlemagner Castle Today
In prehistory, the two main settlements of the present Castlemagner Parish were from the graveyard to the Blackwater (this was known in the old Gaelic language as Munemagarrac) and the area to the north as far as Ballyhest river (known as Monamandaragh). The large Gaelic settlments in both of these areas predate the 8th century church in Subulter and Castlemagner by many centuries.

Philip Barry brought a settlement family from Manorbier who took over about 1500 acres in the northeastern end of the present parish of Castlemagner. This first Norman settlement was located on the northern bank of the Keatra River, 150 yards south of the present Ardoin Bridge. This was a mote and Bailey settlement, the year was 1183 and the settlers name was William Magner (Magnel).

In 1200 David Fitzwilliam Barry developed a stronger fortification close to the Gaelic village around the site of the present St.Brigits cemetery. This village most likely had a Christian church dating from about the same time as the church in Subletur (780). A Norman tower was constructed on the cliff over looking the holy well. It was a square stout building 20 by 20 feet and 30 feet high, which controlled a 720 acres manor farm made up by the town lands of Coolavaleen, Castlemagner and Knockardsharive.

In 1375 with a grant of £10 from Edward III, a watchtower was built adjacent to the Norman Tower, which was converted to a granary. This watch tower was 24 by 24 by 45 feet high, consisting of a basement, and armoury, and on the top floor there were guard quarters. The guard was made up of a watch captain, and ten of Lord Barry's soldiers. It was quartered and maintained by the Magner family.

Magner's Castle 14th Century
Castlemagner Castle in 14th Century

During the Gaelic rebellion of 1460 the watchtower was reduced to rubble. In 1467 the Manor Tower which remained unharmed during the rebellion was with the approval of Lord Barry Mor, developed into a Castle. Rising the tower to 50 feet and adding an enclosed spiral staircase did this.

During the rebellion of 1598-99, Magners castle was destroyed except for the enclosed spiral staircase which is still standing to this day, a lonely sentinel to a large foreign power defeated by the tenacity, determination and courage of a small nation

For more information on the Magners of Castlemagner, contact :

Philips Bookshop
34 Bank Place
Tel +353 22 42471


Scully's Newsagents
O'Brien St
Tel +353 29 50246

Lohort Castle
Lohort Castle
In 1184 Prince John, who would become King of England in 1199, came to Ireland. The purpose of his trip was to grant land to friends of his father Henry I and to organise the building of castles on the dividing line between Norman and Gaelic territory in Cork and Limerick. Lohort was one of the castles built at this time. There were others at Kilbrittan, Carrigtwohill, Grenagh, Lisgriffin, Killbolane and Limerick.

It is interesting to note that Castlemagner was visited by the future king during his stay. Prince John was descended from the Plantagenet dynasty.

Many famous persons have lived, stayed and visited Lohort castle during its history and include, amoung others: the McCarthy Mor, Percival, Bishop Berkeley and Sir Timothy O'Brien.