Countdown to St. Paddy's Day - Day Five
The owners told us this castle was built by the Anglo-Norman de Burgh family who invaded Ireland in the 13th century. The de Burghs (House of Burke) were related to William the Conqueror and consequently the English Royal family, which married into the Irish aristocracy. It lay abandoned for some 250 years and was restored in 1997.
Turin Castle sits on 16 acres of rich walled pasture land with views of the Connemara mountains. The horses and cows on the property are good company.
The castle has been pretty well preserved and there are artifacts in every room. The windows are slits originally used to shoot arrows at invaders. There is a tight steep spiral staircase that connects the five floors. There is no handicap access. The largest bedroom, called the Blood Room (you can imagine why) is on the ground floor and has a large antique carved French bed. As you wind your way upstairs there are a couple small bedrooms originally used to store close quarter weapons such as axes and swords.
The next level has a small kitchen, a minstrel's gallery and a great hall which features a 20-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling and a limestone inglenook fireplace which is what we used for Medieval laundry day.
The third level was a private chapel featuring vaulted ceilings and Romanesque windows and is now a nice bedroom. The fourth floor once housed the private apartment of the lord and lady of the castle. There is a sitting room with wood burning stove and chess table, a bedroom with a four poster carved bed and free-standing antique soaking tub with views of the Connemara mountains plus a bathroom.
It was interesting to explore the ancient place. We found a sliding bookcase that exposed a hidden entrance to the dungeon where captives were once held. We also made our way up 80 more steps to the rooftop, known as the battlements. Since we were not fighting off invaders we were able to enjoy the panoramic view of the ancient barony of Kilmaine.