Dunguaire Castle is a 16th century tower house on the southeastern shores of Galway Bay in the County Galway in Ireland. The castle was built by the O’Hynes clan around 1520. The O’Hynes may have been associated with that area since 662 and Dunguaire has Celtic clan associations that go back as far as the dark ages, to King Guaire, who may or may not have ruled Connaught from a fort built near the castle’s current location. According to archeologists, the original dun was most likely a ring fort. The castle was transformed in the 17th century by Oliver Martin and given to his son Richard Martin (Martyn), the mayor of Galway who lived there until 1642. Dunguaire Castle remained in the Martyn family, but because it wasn’t the family’s main seat, Dunguaire fell into disrepair. In 1924, the surgeon and poet, Oliver St. John Gogarty purchased the castle and began to restore Dunguaire. Gogarty held cultural meetings with literary greats like W.B. Gates and George Bernard Shaw. These literary evenings were said to fuel the Irish revival movement. In 1954 Christobel Lady Amphill purchased the castle and continued restorations. Dunguaire Castle was later purchased by Shannon Development, an Irish corporation that manages historic Irish tourist attractions. Dunguaire Castle is opened to tourists during the summer months. A Medieval banquet is held every night and costumed performers recite poetry and play tradition Irish music.
Castle Stuart is a restored tower house located on the Moray Firth, northeast of Inverness, in Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots granted this land to her half-brother James Stewart, the 1st Earl of Moray, and he began to build Castle Stuart in 1561. James ruled Scotland as regent for the Queen, and unfortunately he was murdered. His son, the 2nd Earl of Moray was also murdered, having been stabbed to death. The castle remained unfinished until James Stuart, the 3rd Earl of Moray, completed it in 1625. It is said the 3rd earl built the castle to protect himself from his father-in-law, the Earl of Huntly, since Huntly was believed to have been the one who murdered his father. The fortunes of the Stuarts diminished during the English Civil War, and when the McIntosh clan members attacked the castle, the Stuart family fled. The castle was left in ruin for nearly 300 years. In 1977, the Stuart descendants purchased the castle, and over the next fifteen years they completed the restorations. The castle has secret stairways, hidden doors, and clever priest holes. It is currently a luxury hotel with eight guest rooms and is believed to be haunted.
Glamis Castle is located in the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. Glamis has a long history, having started out as a hunting lodge by 1034. By 1376, the castle was built for King Robert II’s daughter and given to her husband, Sir John Lyon, Thane of Glamis. (John Lyon was Chamberlain of Scotland and is known as the progenitor of Clan Lyon.) The castle was rebuilt in an L-plan design in the early 15th century. When John Lyon the 6th’s wife, was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in Edinburgh, King James V seized Glamis Castle and lived there for a time. In 1543, the castle was returned to John Lyon the 7th. In 1606, Patrick Lyon, the 9th Earl of Glamis was made the Earl of Kinghome and he began major work on the castle. The castle was used as a military garrison and restored after the soldiers’ disuse by Patrick Lyon, the 3rd Earl of Strathmore and Kinghome around 1606. In 1773, a billiard room, new kitchens, and new service courtyards were added. The castle has remained the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore for over 600 years. Glamis Castle is open to the public.
Baddesley Clinton is a moated manor house located north of Warwick in the county of Warwickshire in England. The house is believed to have been built in the 13th century. The structure was built from Arden sandstone, quarried on the grounds. In 1438, John Brome bought the manor, and it was eventually passed to his son, Nicholas. Nicholas did some extensive rebuilding on a nearby parish church dedicated to St. Michael, done as penance for killing a perish priest. The murder was said to have taken place at the Baddesley Clinton manor. When Nicholas died, the house was passed to his daughter, who married Sir Edward Ferrers. Sir Edward was the High Sheriff of Warwickshire. The Ferrers remained Roman Catholic Recusants after the Reformation, along with much of the gentry in this area. There are several priests holes and secret passages created throughout the manor that were used to shelter Catholic priests. The manor remained in the Ferrers family until 1940. It was sold in 1980 to the National Trust.