Ballinafad Castle Ruins

Lazy morning drive

We went for a lazy morning drive on Saturday in search of a bit of heritage and history. It’s often a thing we like to do here as there is so much to see and do off the beaten track in the west of Ireland. We came across this great little Castle ruins on the South side of County Sligo Close to Boyle Town. In the little village of Ballinafad just off the N4 Dublin to Sligo Road. The name was Ballinafad Castle ruins in County Sligo.

The Ballinafad Castle

Where it is?

Ruins largely in tact still

For a ruins the shell was mainly in tact access to the inside of the ruins has been restricted due to safety however. The ruins at large had its main walls and towers still very prominent and you could certainly see the main structure of the castle.

Towers on the Ballinafad Castle

Sit back and imagine

I have said before and I’ll say again these ruins bring so much joy I could sit here for ages and just wander once once went on in this little Castle. If only you could roll back the time.

Castle inside

A bit of history

The Ballinafad castle in Sligo is an Elizabethan blockhouse built during the Nine Years’ War by Captain John St. Barbe on land granted to him by King James VI and I.

The castle was garrisoned by ten men and commanded by John St. Barbe. It was partially destroyed by Red Hugh O’Donnel in 1595. The castle was again sacked in 1642 and fell out of use by 1680.

Castle Tower

Give a quick visit

Like this post its short and sweet you won’t need long here, 15 minutes of looking and enjoying this ruins is all you need but in my book well worth the 15 minute stop off from the car.

Finer details

  • Allow 15 minutes
  • This visit is free of charge
  • Is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
  • No tours are available or necessary

Lough Arrow lookout

A short 2 minute drive down the road is the Lough Arrow lookout with beautiful views of the lough and the lush Sligo countryside.

Lough Arrow

Our other Castle visits

We have a ever growing selection of castles we have visited around Ireland, it is certainly a passion of ours here is a list below of the ones we have visited.

You can also find a few castle adventures on our other site Travel Through Ireland

By chalkandcheesetravels

We are adventure seekers who love to explore the world. So one day, we decided to write about it here is our story so far


  1. What an impressive castle, even if in ruins! I think the ruins add even more of a majestic feel to the site, as it illustrates a once-thriving place with a rich history. Glad you got to visit it!

  2. NortheastAllie – For generations, my family has lived in the Philadelphia area, and my writing reflects these influences. This blog explores perspectives on life, encouragement, travel, health, and local living.
    NortheastAllie says:

    Beautiful castle and interesting history as well!

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