Donamon Castle, County Roscommon is said to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited buildings in Ireland. It is believed that originally there was a fort here (whence the name Dún Iomáin, fort of Iomán), but the first recorded reference to the place occurs in the Annals of the Four Masters for the year 1154. In 1232, the Anglo-Norman Adam de Staunton further fortified the site but his works were captured and demolished by the O’Connors a year later. After passing back and forth between different hands, the castle was occupied from the early 14th century onwards by a branch of the Burkes who remained here until in 1688 it passed to the Caulfeilds (the main branch of which became Earls of Charlemont). In the last century, like many other estates Donamon was broken up by the Irish Land Commission, the castle being acquired in 1939 by the Divine Word Missionaries, members of which community remain there to the present time. Although much altered and extended in the 18th and 19th century, the core of the old castle resembles that at Bunratty, County Clare, both front and rear featuring a tall arched recess between square towers.
That detail of the arch between two towers is a feature of a group of Aberdeenshire fortified houses of the later c16: Fyvie, Craigston. Merely coincidence, I would guess.
Robert while you were posting the oldest continuously inhabited building in Ireland here is an old spoon from that castle being sold on eBay. Search eBay for image under sold number 272604987480.
Dear Thomas, Many thanks, there’s synchronicity for you! How goes your own book?
Much like Dunamon, the longest continuously worked on tome! See you in Ireland in May.