Crannagh Hill & Castle

The high point of Ramore Head was once the site of a Castle. The name Ramore, which comes from ‘Rathmore’ and means Great Fort, supports this claim. Archaeologists believe that the castle stood on Crannagh Hill, the highest point of Ramore Headland overlooking the harbour, but was probably a fortified house with a defended wall rather than the popular image of a castle with crenelated walls and conical roofs on cylindrical towers. The Swift Map of 1580 supports this belief as it shows a wall with an entrance across a narrow neck of land at the harbour end of the headland.

It is believed that the castle was built by the O’Corr family in the early Medieval era and was known as ‘Castle an Teenie’- which means the Castle of Fire.  Popular myths suggest that a light would burn at its windows to lure ships unto the treacherous shore, allowing pillagers to steal the goods from the wreckage.

An early reference tells us that the castle was captured in 1585 by the Lord Deputy of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir John Perrot, during his conquest of Ireland. All traces of the castle disappeared as local people used its stone for building during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries: the castle having been destroyed by general Munroe’s forces in 1642 during the Irish rebellion.  Crannagh Hill was quarried away to provide stone for the harbour in the 1820s, so any remains or evidence of the castle and its location were totally destroyed.