EnnistymonCounty Clare

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aka O'Brien's Castle Innistymond  (Skinners's Survey Map 1770)
aka O'Brien's Castle Innistymond (Skinners's Survey Map 1770)

The founding date of Caisleán Inis Díomáin aka Ennistimon Castle is unknown. 

It may have been built c.1560 by Domhnall O’Brien or earlier by Donough MacDonall O’Conor. One interpretation of the name Ennistymon is Inis Tí Meáin "island of the middle house", suggesting that the castle was the middle of three O’Connor/O’Brien castles in the area (i.e. Lahinch, Glan and Ennistymon).  

Following the invasion of Cromwell, the castle was let to English Protestants by the Earl of Thomond. The image of the castle (pictured above) featured on Pettys Map of 1658

In 1703, Thomas Moland’s survey describes Inishtimond as having a manor with a good castle and a two-storey house joined to it, all in good repair.

In 1764, Edward O’Brien (a descendant of the original Domhnall O’Brien) demolished much of the old castle building in order to erect Ennistymon House.    

A few traces could still be seen: "Of the castle, part remains, forming the northern end of the frontage and displaying late windows with oblong lights and angular hood mouldings, probably dating from the reign of James 1". [Westropp]

In the early 1800’s, it was the residence of O’Brien's grandson, Andrew Finucane (d. 1843). It then passed to the widower of his sister, William Nugent Macnamara (1775-1856) of Doolin. It was vacated under duress in 1922, but remained in McNamara ownership and was turned into a commercial property in 1936.

Ennistymon House, still extant, has been since known as the Falls Hotel

A Tourist Board survey in the 1940s declared: "On the ceiling of the entrance hall there is a beautiful wrought iron design said to be 300 years old and to be the work of Dutch men". It also stated that this design had been transferred from an older building. 




Ennistymon Castle and House and The Falls Hotel Ireland VIEW SOURCE
History of the Falls Hotel Ireland VIEW SOURCE
National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Ireland VIEW SOURCE

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