Ballyloughlan : Castle

Grid RefS 746 585
GPSS 74597 58484 (3m)
Longitude6° 53' 49.52" W
Latitude52° 40' 20.86" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBagenalstown (5.1 Km)
OS Sheet68
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 11th July 2010

After visiting Ballymoon (County Carlow) I had to come here as it was recommended as another great Carlow castle. When you enter the field you can see the impressive gatehouse and a few other buildings. As you walk towards the gatehouse you then see a mass of buildings stretching 200m back into the field. Wow! Alas, this is not all castle: the furthest buildings are part of a 17th Century farmhouse complex that look as though they were build with stone from the castle.

The gatehouse is in good condition and you can easily get to the first floor and wander around. The castle was never a massive fortification, having just two corner towers and the the gatehouse linked by walls. A drawing on the information board shows the section of the wall next to the gatehouse intact, but there are no walls left today. The tower next to the gatehouse is in fair condition, while the one at the rear corner is very ruined. The adjacent one is by far the larger of the two towers.

The courtyard of the castle was accessed through the gatehouse via a grand doorway, leading to a tunnel that passes through the gatehouse. Stairs off this passage lead to the first floor. The most impressive thing about these remains is the front of the gatehouse. This was built to impress! It features two cylindrical towers that flank the entrance.

Access is fairly easy, although I had to climb over a locked gate to get in (the man at the adjacent cottage told me to do so.) The information sign is right at the field entrance and a useful aid to finding the site.

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A Selection of Other Castles

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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