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Bedrooms 6   Bathrooms 2
Internet Access Yes   Washing Machine Yes
Dryer Yes   Queen Beds 2
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Headford - Lakeside Castle

County Galway, Ireland

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For 700 years, Carraigin Castle has been a landmark on the eastern shore of Lough Corrib, one of the biggest lakes in Ireland. In recent years, this castle has been authentically restored to its former glory using the same materials and techniques as the original thirteenth-century builders. Modern comforts have been incorporated without detracting from the charm and simple grandeur of this ancient dwelling, a rare and beautiful example of the medieval “hall house”.

Surrounded by seven acres of lawns, woodland and meadows, it is an idyllic holiday home in a beautiful lakeside setting. There one can enjoy walking, boating, fishing, riding and sightseeing, or simply relax and contemplate the gothic geometry of the roof timbers.

This castle is a tall, narrow structure, which sits is in sharp contrast to the softly rolling hills on which it stands.  Through the enteryway is a small stone-floored entry area.  To the left are three bedrooms, one leading into the other.  This castle predates the concept of hallways (hallways are a rather recent invention)  so one must walk through one bedroom to reach the next bedroom and so on.

The great hall features sheepskin rugs, wicker baskets; a mix of old oak and modern furniture, white walls hung with tapestries and brass rubbings a wide welcoming hearth and a tiny, well-equipped kitchen with a view over the water.

Off the hall is a baronial double bedroom with a king-size bed and bathroom. Stone staircases wind upwards to a family room overlooking the hall and to a little single bedroom in the corner tower.

From both of these second-floor rooms you can stroll out onto the castle parapets with fabulous views of Lough Corrib and the hills of Clare, Connemara and Mayo. The rest of you sleep in the three cozy medieval vaults below.

They are a lot of fun and work if you know each other well as the rooms lead one into the other. However, discrete and rather beautiful free-standing screens are provided.

Back at the entry way, there is a large bathroom with a tub and shower over tub.  There’s a washer and a dryer in this bathroom.

The Great Hall remains much as it has been for centuries.  It’s a spacious living/dining area with two church pews and two easy chairs flanking a large fireplace.  Three windows face fine views of the lake and green fields.

The dining table seats everyone on long benches.  A large dresser holds books and dishes.  The room has artifacts with a medieval theme, a writing desk, TV, VCR, tape player.

From a little area just before the kitchen, you can climb a very narrow, very steep, very curvy stone stairway to the top floor of the tall tower.  There is a tiny single bedroom here.  Don’t even think about two people sharing it.  It has a narrow bed, a chest of drawers and a wash basin.  It has access to the tower parapet and truly spectacular views of, it seems, nearly all of Ireland.

The setting is idylic,  The seven woodland acres are on the shore of one of Ireland’s most beautiful lakes, Lough Corrib.  There is a small dock and a fishing boat is available by arrangement (the fishing on the lake is said to be excellent.)  There are miles of walking trails.  Golf and horse riding are nearby.   Basic shopping and pubs are a mile from the castle.  Galway City, which has everything, is 18 miles.
The lovely lawn area has outdoor furniture near the lake.  One can walk in the woods.  The long views of the landscape, green grass and crisscrossing stone walls, are worth a watercolor or two.

There is a pay phone.  Baby sitting can be arranged.  Daily housecleaning for 5 days weekly is included.  A boat, motor & fishing gear for two are available for hire at a modest price.  (Note: you must have a fishing license to hire the boat.)

Local Favorites
Favorite Local Pub
Name: The Thatch Pub
Unusual or interesting place in the area
Ross Errilly Friary Standing in serene solitude on the South bank of the Black River, just two miles West from the town of Headford in County Galway the Franciscan Friary of Ross is recognized by many historians both past and present as the best preserved monastic ruin of its period in Ireland. It was founded in 1349 by the then Archbishop of Tuam Dr. Malachy MacHugh, who was a native of the Headford area and, as it happens, a member of the Franciscan order. Killursa Killursa is about 1.5 miles west of Headford on the Greenfields road. It is a ruined church set in an extensive graveyard. The ruin measures 70feet by 24feet, and it has a gothic pointed doorway, and a large mullioned gothic window, which indicates that the present structure was erected after the Norman invasion, 1169. A wall was built across this church, probably cutting off a section for the officiating clergyman, who had his habitat there. Killursa means the church of St. Fursa whose statue one sees as one enters the graveyard. It was here St. Fursa had the famous visions of the unseen world which grave authors assert inspired Dante to write his "Comedia Divina". Knockma Hill Knockma the great 'Hill of Maeve' is situated 5 miles west of Tuam. Maeve the legendary Queen of Connacht is reputed to be buried in the Cairns on the summit of the hill from which one of the greatest panoramic views in Ireland may be obtained. Tradition also points to Knockma as the home of fairy legend. For here Finvarra, King of Connacht fairies, is reputed to have held his court. This partially wooded hill contains examples of the famous Burren flora, the Spring Gentian and the Purple Helleborine to name but two species. The limestone flags on its summit and sides contain all of our rarest plants that are otherwise only found in the Burren! A fine path to the summit of this hill has been created through a FÁS project.
Favorite Local Restaurant
Name: Heneghan’s Restaurant
Type of Restaurant: European
Type of Food: European
One thing visitors should not miss
Fishing on Lough Corrib Lough Corrib is one of the best game fisheries in the world and it is a wonderful place to experience what Ireland has to offer both in terms of the game angling and the hospitality of the local people. It is a vast lake of 44,000 acres and stretches some thirty five miles from Galway City to Maam Bridge. Because of its size and numerous underwater hazards it is very advisable to use a guide on your first few visits, until you feel comfortable and confident enough to rent a boat yourself. The use of a guide also has the benefit of getting you to the best and most productive fishing grounds straight away, hence making your day more productive and enjoyable
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