En Garde

The facade of Castlegarde, County Limerick, the core of which is a five-storey tower house said to have been in continuous occupation since first constructed by the O’Brien family. After being confiscated by the crown and granted to Sir George Bourchier at the end of the 16th century, the building passed through various hands until 1820 when acquired by Waller O’Grady, a son of Standish O’Grady, future first Viscount Guillamore. Waller O’Grady commissioned the architect siblings James and George Pain to restore and enlarge the building, to which they added a castellated wing as well as restoring the bawn wall and adding a new gatehouse entrance to the site. The last of these has a most curious feature: inside and above the entrance on plinths are  three stone figures, much worn but said to represent Bacchus, Pallas Athene and Aphrodite.  Clearly these sculptures are of an earlier period, but what might have been their origin or how they came to be here looks to be unknown.

7 comments on “En Garde

  1. What a delightful looking place.

  2. Toby C says:

    What became of the O’Brien family?

  3. lawrieweed says:


  4. Quite the interesting place ! Thanks for posting.

  5. Deborah T. Sena says:

    A lot of ‘grand’ impact on smaller scale. Clearly meant to impress!! Love the details of the tower windows.

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