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169 Old Ruins to explore in Leinster

Leinster

Leinster is one of the provinces of Ireland, situated in the southeast and east of Ireland. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has prompted further sub-division of the historic counties.

Aghaboe Abbey
Aghaboe AbbeyFriarsland, Aghaboe, Co. Laois, Ireland

The Abbey of Aghaboe is one of the most important of the abbeys and priories in County Laois. It was founded in the kingdom of Osraige by St. Canice in the 6th century. The abbey grew into a major centre of learning, commerce and agriculture. Among the monks from the abbey was St. Virgilius, a noted geometer and astronomer who was abbot before he left Ireland and built the cathedral at Salzburg in Austria in the 8th century.

Altamont Gardens
Altamont GardensAltamont, Co. Carlow, R93 N882, Ireland

This romantic 16-hectare estate, features a mix of native and exotic plants and makes a great destination for a family outing. You will have a wonderful experience at any time of the year, as different plants flourish throughout the spring, summer and autumn, and the trees show off their striking silhouettes during the winter. From the Altamont Garden, there are spectacular views of the Blackstairs Mountains, Wicklow Mountains and Mount Leinster.

Ardee Castle
Ardee CastleArdee Castle, Castle St, Dawsonsdemesne, Ardee, Co. Louth, Ireland

Ardee Castle is significant for being the largest fortified medieval Tower House in Ireland.The Castle was built in the 15th century by John St. Leger and served as a stronghold for the defence of the Pale. Ardee Castle is the largest fortified medieval Tower House in Ireland or Britain. The castle was originally built by Roger de Peppard in 1207, but not much is left from the original walls.

Athcarne Castle
Athcarne CastleAthcarne, Co. Meath, Ireland

This is an Elizabethan castle now in ruins, located near Duleek in County Meath. It was constructed by William Bathe in 1590 and was then rebuilt in 1830. The castle was abandoned in the 1950s and is now in a sorry state of repair. It is claimed that King James II once owned the castle and that he stayed there in 1690 when en route to the Battle of the Boyne. Some say that his ghost returns to the castle on occasions and appears dumbfounded.

Athclare Castle
Athclare CastleM1, Athclare, Co. Louth, Ireland

Athclare Castle is typical of defensive residential architecture of the period. This sixteenth-century tower house was built by the Barnewell family and later extended in the seventeenth century, the plain extension is distinguished by the stocky tower to the east. Athclare has been extended and adapted in the centuries since its construction and is classified as a site of National social historical importance by the Irish National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

Athgreany Stone Circle
Athgreany Stone CircleAthgreany, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Athgreany is a picturesque circle of 16 grey granite stones and an outlier. Some of these pillars and boulders are up to two meters high and enclose an area of about twenty two meters across. Now the site is composed of 16 granite boulders, with 5 remaining in their original placements.

Athlumney Castle
Athlumney CastleConvent Rd, Athlumney, Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland

Athlumney Castle is a tower house and fortified house and a National Monument in Navan, Ireland. The motte at Athlumney was built in the years after 1172 when Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath granted the title of Baron Skryne to his ally Adam de Feypo; he in turn granted Athlumney to a relative Amauri de Feipo, who built the motte. The older part of Athlumney Castle is a tower house built in the 15th century.

Avondale House
Avondale HouseAvondale House, Avondale, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, A67 P303, Ireland

Avondale House,is the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell. It is set in the Avondale Forest Park, approximately 1.5 km from the nearby town of Rathdrum. The House is now a museum open to visitors, who are introduced to the house by an audio visual presentation. Other facilities include a restaurant, book shop, picnic areas, children's play area, two orienteering courses. In the surrounding parkland are tree trails and walks ranging in duration from one to five hours.

Ballyadams Castle
Ballyadams CastleBallyadams, Co. Laois, Ireland

One of the most hidden of castles that dot the landscape of Ireland, right close to my aunt's house in Ballyadams, and seat to The O'Mores. According to Keating, the O'Mores have St. Fintan as their protector. Of thirteen families of Moore recorded in Burke's Landed Gentry.

Ballycowan Castle
Ballycowan Castle53.276419,-7.558745, Ballycowan, Co. Offaly, Ireland

Ballycowan Castle is a castle located 4 km west of Tullamore, Co. Offaly. It was built in 1589 as a fortified house by Thomas Morres.The castle was built on the previous site of the O’Molloy castle or tower house called Baile-mhic-Abhainn which was destroyed by a fire in 1557.

Ballyhack Castle
Ballyhack CastleBallyhack, Co. Wexford, Ireland

Ballyhack Castle is located on a steep slope in a commanding position overlooking Waterford estuary in Ballyhack. It is a large tower house, thought to have been built c. 1450. The tower is five stories tall and the walls survive complete to the wall walk. Built into the north-east wall of the second floor is a small chapel complete with a piscina, aumbry and altar.

Ballyloughan Castle
Ballyloughan CastleBallyloughan, Co. Carlow, Ireland

Ballyloughan Castle was probably built in the 13th century and consisted of a large open courtyard with a curtain wall and a moat outside. Only a small square tower at one corner survives, as well as the entrance gate, flanked by two large rounded towers. The tower in the north-eastern corner was abandoned in the 14th century, and the whole castle may even have been abandoned at this time.

Ballymoon Castle
Ballymoon CastleBallywilliamroe, Co. Carlow, Ireland

Ballymoon Castle is a National Monument situated 2 miles east of Muine Bheag, County Carlow, Ireland. The castle is thought to date from the 13th century. It comprises a courtyard about 80 feet square, surrounded by granite walls, 8 feet thick and 20 feet high. Square towers project from three sides while a formidable gatehouse is the feature of the fourth.

Baltinglass Abbey
Baltinglass Abbeyeast, Baltinglass East, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

The Abbey is situated on the east bank of the River Slaney on the North side of Baltinglass town.The Abbey was founded in 1148 by Dermot McMurrogh. Dermot McMurrogh brought Cistercian monks from Mellifont. It was established for the Cistercians which was called “The Valley of Salvation”.The six beautiful Gothic arches on either side of the nave, supported by alternate round and square pillars, are a noteworthy feature of the ruins.

Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre
Battle of the Boyne Visitor CentreBattle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Drybridge, Co. Meath, Ireland

The Visitor Centre is housed in the restored 18th century Oldbridge House on the banks of the River Boyne. It gives an in-depth insight into the battle between King William III and his father-in-law King James II in 1690. Explore the colourful tale of the Battle of the Boyne through detailed displays and historical reenactments.

Beaulieu House and Garden. Closed.
Beaulieu House and Garden. Closed.Cross, Beaulieu, Drogheda, Co. Louth, A92 PD3R, Ireland

A majestic house which was built by Sir Henry Titchbourne, Marshal of the Army in Ireland, and Governor of Drogheda. It is believed to be the finest example of Irish domestic architecture to survive from the Restoration. Inside the impressive house the walls are adorned with excellent family portraits, as well as a superior collection of the works of many famous Irish artists of the early part of the 20th-century. It is one of the earliest unfortified major houses built in Ireland.

Bective Abbey
Bective AbbeyR161, Ballina, Co. Meath, Ireland

Bective Abbey was founded in 1147 for the Cistercian Order by Murchad O'Maeil- Sheachlainn, King of Meath. It was Ireland's second Cistercian Abbey. The remains now visible at the Abbey date mainly from the 13th to 15th centuries. They include the church, chapter house and cloister. It is a protected structure and recorded on the register of National monuments of Ireland.

Birr Castle Demesne
Birr Castle DemesneTownparks, Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland

This is a large castle in the town of Birr in County Offaly, Ireland. It is the home of the 7th Earl of Rosse and his family, and as such the residential areas of the castle are not open to the public, though the grounds and gardens of the demesne are publicly accessible, and include a science museum and a café, a reflecting telescope which was the largest in the world for decades and a modern radio telescope.

Black Castle
Black CastleS Quay, Corporation Lands, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

On the eastern outskirts of Wicklow Town on a rock above the sea lies the ruin of Black Castle. Only a few fragments of the wall remain of the castle built by the Normans at the end of the 12th century. It stands on a rocky promontory over the sea, at the eastern side of the town. Following the arrival of the Norman’s in 1169 Earl Strongbow was granted the lands along the East Coast. He in turn granted those lands to Baron Maurice Fitzgerald on condition that he build castles for protection.

Black Freren Gate
Black Freren Gate12 Sráid Na Mainistreach, Gairdíní San Eoin, Cill Chainnigh, Ireland

This is the last remaining gate from the medieval stone walls of Kilkenny, Ireland. This is the only gate from the old Norman city walls still standing, albeit with the help of metal bracing these days. Crumbling sections of the old walls remain throughout the city centre.

Map of Old Ruins to explore in Leinster