Twinned with PlourivoFrance



       There are six castles or towers within the parish of Buttevant. Three are in Buttevant town. Lombard's Castle. the Barry (or Buttevant) castle, and the Desmond Tower. There are also castles at Lisgriffin, Templeconnell and Ballinguile. All these castles were built after the Normans came, say from 1200 A.D.; and that no castle was built after Cromwell had demonstrated the power of the cannon In reducing castles to rubble in 1650. Only Buttevant castle has been extensively repaired, in particular about 1830. when Sir John Anderson had bought it from the last Earl of Barrymore and was living there.
 Buttevant Castle
1. Barry or Buttevant Castle:
       It was built by the Barrys around 1200. Three baronies were granted to the Barry following the Norman Invasion, those of Killede, Olethan and Muscraighedunegan. They were seized and held by Ralph FitzStephen for a short time. But Raymond Le Gros, Robert FitzStephen and Philip Barry (who came to Ireland in 1185) recovered the lands and gave them to the rightful owner, Philip Barry. This grant was confirmed to Philip's son, William, in a grant from King John, dated 24 February, 1206.       The lands around Kilnamullack had been held by the Dunegans prior to the Norman invasion. They well may have
 had an earthen rath or lios at or near where the Barrys built their castle. Almost certainly the mill and weir had been in
 existence for some hundreds of years before the Normans came. A site where the castle commanded the mill had advantages. The swift-flowing Awbeg river below the weir offered defensive protection on one site; it also assured the water supply of the castle. So, there Is nothing surprising at the selection of the site where the Barry Castle was built and where Buttevant Castle now stands.        For a long time, the head of the Barry clan lived at Buttevant, which became a very Important town. In 1317
 (11th. of Edward II), the English Parliament voted £150 (say £150,00 in todays money) to enclose the town with a strong
wall. In 1461, Morrogh O'Brien over-ran Munster, and damaged or took the town and castle of Buttevant. In 1555 Lord Barry was created Viscount Buttevant.   The full story of Barry-Buttevant castle cannot be given here. Two small tales are of Interest. It is said that a bugler or drummer of the castle betrayed it to the besieger: when the castle was taken, the bugler or drummer was executed by the victor, who said "Thus may all traitors perish." At night, the head still rolls down the stairs, crying "betrayed, betrayed", and a blood-stain on the stairs cannot be washed away. In some accounts, the betrayal and
execution are attributed to an early Norman Barry attacking the Celtic Donegan; It is impossible that there was a pre- Norman stone castle at Buttevant. The Incident might be based on the capture of the Castle by Ireton or one of his lieutenants In 1650/1651.       Another tale is that underground passages connect the Barry castle with Ballybeg Priory; this is most unlikely.
as tunnelling through some 1.000 yards of hard limestone rock would be a major undertaking. Another version of the tale says that the underground passage connects the castle with Buttevant Friary, and possibly with the old convent located between the castle and the Friary. This is more probable, and there are tales of how an early parish priest of Buttevant sealed off a passage opening out towards the castle from the Friary.
Lombarts Castle
2. Lombard's Castle:
       This was more the substantial town house of a family of merchants of Italian origin, engaged in trade and banking. They collected monies due to the Pope; they ran the wool trade. The name Lombard is well-known in the Buttevant area from the earliest Norman times. It was seized during the mid- 17th century troubles. On 28th. Sept.. 1669, Castle Lombard, its two-acre garden, its one-acre orchard and two acres in Gortine-spunk, was granted by Charles II to Col. John Gifford. It was used as a school for a considerable time, under a legacy from a wealthy widow, Anne Muscham; this lasted to around 1818.

Desmonds Tower
3. Desmond Tower:
       This is incorporated into the present Roman Catholic parish church. It was built by the Earl of Desmond. He retired
there. It has several names in the records - Cullin (according to Smith); "Caisland Caomhin" (Brash, 1852) and "Killeen
Castle" (Field Book of 1839).
4. Ballinguile Castle:
       What remains now is the original castle, but the ruins of buildings which succeeded it built in or out of the older castle of the Stapletons soon after the reign of King John - Say in 1220, at the beginning of the long reign of King Henry III. During the 1640-1650 Confederation of Kilkenny wars, it was claimed by Sir Philip Percival (of Churchtown). In 1644, the Irish, including Staleton and Barrys, took the castle of Ballinguile from Sir Percival. Under the restored Stuarts the Freemans took it over and probably erected the building whose shattered pillars can be seen in a field to the west of the Cork Dublin railroad. Blue gates lead to the present ruin. The gaunt pillars and walls are now slender and the wide windows certainty suggest a building no earlier than the late 17th century or early 18th century. There is an enormous cleft down one entire wall. There is a lofty chimney shaft on the north wall and a trace of what might have been a circular stairs with garderobe. There is no present indication of fortification. There is a fosse between it and the railways as well as a line of trees.
Lisgriffin Castle
5. Lisgriffin Castle:
        It Is reasonably certain that the castle was built by Garret Barry about 1605-1610. There are the usual pardons to those who held Lisgriffin Castle - to Richard James Barry, 15 May. 1573; to John FitzRichard Barrie of Lisgriffin, Katherine Skollie. his wife. Philip Fitzjohn Barrie, of same. A.D. 1600. etc. In 1580. the Royalist army, marching from Limerick to Dingle, encamped at Lisgriffin on 12 June, 1580. By deeds dated 6 June, 1619. Redmond Fitzjohn Barry of Lisgriffin was granted extensive lands which were formed into the "Manor of Lisgriffin" by James I. However, by 1657, Lisgriffin Castle had become the property of the Grove family of Cahirduggan. In 1911, Col. Grove-White had, with permission, removed a fine limestone mantlepiece from the top floor of Lisgriffln Castle, and installed it in his home. Only the west wall of the castle remains. Jeremiah Healy, then of the creamery of Lisgriffln told Grove-White that the other walls fell on 2 March 1914 without showing any previous damage, and on an evening which was absolutely calm. The chimney on the north wall had blown down in 1900. There had been a spanking hole on the front wall.
6. Templeconnell Castle:
       No records have been found regarding the period when this castle was built. It is of very good construction, and resembles somewhat the style of Lisgriffln Castle. So, it could have been rebuilt after 1603, almost certainly by a Barry, who
then had a major stronghold at Liscarroll. However, a castle of some sorts may have been there earlier, for a Pardon of
Elizabeth to Edmund Maugner, of Templeconnolly is dated 6 May, 1573. By 1622, the estate of Templeconila was in the
possession of Edward Stapleton, alias Mclgile. In 1639 It was purchased by Sir Philip Percival; it became a Perclval
stronghold during the 1640-1650 wars. On about 16 Sept., 1643, it was seized from Sir Percival by Edward Maugner, Stapleton and others, and declared the possession of Thomas Barry of Buttevant. By 1713, it was rented from the Percivals
by Richard Freeman of Ballinguile.