Sunday, 8 May 2011

Carbury Castle Co. Kildare

Carbury castle is the ruin of the 17th century tudor mansion of the Colley family built on a motte from the middle ages. The ruin although now crumbling into disrepair within, still stands firm with most of the outer walls intact. It is a little precarious to walk around in some spots but there is one doorway that leads to a sort of veranda outside from which the views are magnificent. It is easy to see why it was placed in such a strategic location. From the 'veranda' you can also get a good view of the nearby L-shaped walled graveyard with some very old gravestones. This can be accessed by climbing over two stiles. Do not attempt to enter any other field as there is a Bull at large and this is widely signposted. To Find Carbury castle leave the M4 motorway at junction 9. Take the R402 through Johnston Bridge and continue until you spot the castle on the hill to your right just before Carbury village. Signs on the gates of the field leading up to the castle state 'By invitation only'. This is mainly to ensure that gates are not left open for livestock to roam out onto the road and for insurance purposes. It is always wise and repectful to ask beforehand in one of the local houses if it is OK to proceed and always close gates behind you. A local pointed out that access can also be gained from the grounds of the local Church of Ireland, but that the walk is longer.


  1. I am familiar with Carbury Castle ruins and I am convinced that there is more of the castle below ground than there is above ground. I feel that a SKILLED excavation would be very interesting and revealing.

    1. Hi, that sounds very interesting indeed. Do you suspect that there might be a lower floor or a cellar perhaps?.

  2. Hi, Castlehunter,
    Yes, I suspect that there may be more than one floor below taking regard to the external height from the ground outside the structure to the level within. There is also a large pit within, completely overgrown, hard to access without a ladder, which demonstrates at least one floor below the two arches. Inside one of the arches, if you look carefully, you can see the top apex of an arched doorway which must lead down.

    It is my own contention, (correct me if I am wrong), that at the time that the castle was finally assaulted, that the roof and at least two upper floors collapsed on top of the arches, half burying them and completely burying all below them.

    Taking an optimistic guess and taking the deepness of the motte itself into account, I would suspect that there are up to three floors below the arches possibly,(indeed probably), with rooms and corridors still intact.

  3. Hi Ebenezer Joan,
    That's an amazing thought. If only an excavation could be made. I must make it my busuness to make another visit and have a closer look at what you describe. It's roughly five years since I was there