Kilcoe Castle

KILCOE CASTLE, ROARINGWATER BAY, BALLYDEHOB, WEST CORK

*An excerpt from an article at Independent.ie: Saturday, May 26, 2001*

The locals may not think it’s exactly pretty in pink, but as castles go, actor Jeremy Irons’ Kilcoe Castle is the real thing, built around 1450 by the clan of Dermot MacCarthy on a two-acre island in Roaringwater Bay. These MacCarthys were a sub-tribe of the McCarthy Reaghs of Kilbrittan, who had originated in the Blarney area.

Kilcoe Castle has quite a history. Superbly located, from a defensive point of view, it proved a hard nut to crack in battle and was one of the last castles in Carberry to fall to the English forces after the Battle of Kinsale. After a lengthy siege, Conor O’Driscoll finally surrendered in 1603.

After the 1600s it fell into disrepair and it was only in 1966 that James Caverly, the farmer who owns the surrounding land, registered the castle. In 1972 he sold it to Edward Samuel, who built a bridge connecting the castle to the main land, but baulked at the cost of restoring the building.

In 1998, Irons and his Irish wife, Sinead Cusack, bought the property. Since then Irons has poured well over £1 million into Kilcoe’s restoration, regarded as one of the most painstaking undertakings of its kind in Ireland.

The pink colour which upset a few locals, but is more or less a storm in a paintpot is likely to fade to a nice terracotta with time.

Jeremy's thoughts on Kilcoe Castle

Visit our gallery of Kilcoe Castle images

Links to photos of Kilcoe Castle found around the Internet:

An oil painting of Kilcoe Castle in ruins by Gwen Slowey

Kilcoe Castle before and after by James Galvin

Baltimore Sea Safari – Scroll down for a photo of Kilcoe Castle

Sheela-na-gig carvng for Kilcoe Castle

McCarthy Crest carving for Solar above fireplace, Kilcoe Castle

An Approach to An Architectural Archive of Some Irish Country Houses – Scroll down to see Kilcoe Castle