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Collections Spotlight – ‘Ruins of Templeland Castle, Co. Galway’ watercolour

Every week we shine a light on a different object from our collections that you may not have seen before.  This week we have a watercolour painting by Irish landscape painter Cecilia Margaret Nairn (neé) Campbell (1791-1857) titled ‘Ruins of Templeland Castle, Co. Galway’ which is actually Terryland Castle, on the outskirts of Galway; a fortified house, three storeys high with an attic.  Images of the castle building today, compared with the early nineteenth-century painting, show how much of the building has collapsed and fallen over 200 years.

There was a castle in Terryland from 1574, which was in the possession of ‘Domynick Lynch’, but no visible surface trace of it survives. The present ruins, probably on the site of the original castle, are those of a seventeenth-century gabled house and bawn wall built by Richard Burke, fourth Earl of Clanricarde (1572 – 1635) and was used from the 1640s to the 1650s by Ulick Burke, the fifth Earl of Clanricarade. The castle was taken by Sir Charles Coote in 1651 when Galway was under siege as Cromwells forces made their way around Ireland.  The castle was returned to the Clanricardes after Charles II succeeded to the throne in 1660.  In 1691, during the William-Jacobite war the castle was burned to prevent the Williamites using it as they advanced on Galway. More recently parts of damaged walls were reduced for safety in advance of the construction of Quincentenary Bridge in 1984.


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Impact Assessment of Proposed Conservation Works and Management Plan for Terryland Castle, Galway, by Richard Crumlish, 2015



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