Set in the heart of the farming town of Roscommon lies Roscommon Castle and the Loughnaneane park. An essential piece of history for the whole town and one that has stood the course time. It is constantly being preserved so this iconic landmark is here to stay forever.
As soon as I heard of the castle I wanted to visit. I have often loved visiting ruins it’s really a place to let the imagination flow and wander what these sorts of structures where once like when operational.
Set about 2 minute drive from the town center, best access and parking is just off Castle Street and down Castle Lane. Exact location can be found on Google maps below.
Roscommon has a town center train station located 3 minute drive to Roscommon Castle. Busus are available also via Bus Eireann
A Brief History Of The Castle
The castle now in ruins, this large and striking 13th-century Norman castle was once of Hugh O’Connor, the King of Connaught. It features a quadrangular plan with rounded bastions at the corners and a double-towered entrance gate.
The castles Norman structure, built back in 1269 by then Robert de Ufford, on lands which were taken from an Augustinian priory.
The castle was laid to siege by the Connacht King Aodh O’Connor in 1272. Eight years on, and then again in the possession of the English garrison and fully restored. 1340 came around and the O’Connors had regained possession and held it until 1569, to which it then fell to Sir Henry Sidney, who at the time was the Lord Deputy.
Our Visit To The Castle
The Roscommon Castle ruins is free to visit and is its surrounding walking tracks and play areas. Open all year round with no opening or closing times.
The castle from across Loughnaneane park looks beautiful and as you can see the structure is largely still well visible. Currently a few restoration projects are also ongoing helping to keep this site as well maintained as possible.
The entrance to the castle through the stone arch is grand and very well maintained. A bridge at the front of the castle is not the original but is there for access to all visitors, With easy ramps and railings for elderly or wheelchair access.
Once inside the ruins become more visible and you can see where the castle fell into decay and you can see where it all once stood. The extremely high walls and stunning windows show the formation of the former 3 floored castle.
I do love to sit back and absorb places like this and try to imagine what it once was like when it was operational. I think imagination is great could you imagine the people who once resided here and how they went about there lives.
The stairwell access still remains but due to the ruins lead to nowhere. They are gated shut due to safety, and the obvious ruins of the site. But these would of been access to the other levels of the castle.
One of my favourite shots from the back of the castle. Luckily I managed to capture the glaring sunlight through the windows and gate. This back gate leads out onto a grassed area which would of once been part of the castles gardens and courtyard.
Another shot, and this time of one of the bastions. This would of been built so to allow defense fire in several directions. Again the obvious signs of ruins and what once was a castle. It’s easy to see here the former castle was over 3 floors with the still present window frames.
A very well maintained walking track adjacent to the castle and a lake situated perfectly in the center of Loughnaneane park. Full of ducks, which we now regularly enjoy going to with the kids to feed them. Very friendly and always welcome for some bread if those magpies don’t sweep in to quickly.
Walking tracks around the pond to enjoy and to stretch the legs. There is also a outer walking track for longer walks. Al very well maintained as is the whole area.
Also situated in this park is a good quality well equipped playground. With lots of climbing and adventures for the kids again extremely well maintained and like new. Plenty of space for kids with an array of features for all ages.
This place is great way to kill an hour or so in the morning and would be a perfect picnic spot in the summer and somewhere to bring the family to enjoyed a great bit of fresh air.
Loughnaneane park is well equipped with street fitness machines, this is great way for people to keep fit whilst out for a walk. Again very well maintained and never to crowded. Machines for different parts of the body.
A favourite spot of ours and somewhere we like to pick up a coffee to bring for our walks is Rogue and Co in Roscommon Town Centre.
Only a 5 – 6 minute walk from the castle and situated on the high street in Roscommon is Rogue & Co is a trendy cafe offering great food and beverages.
High recommendations the double smash burger and the haloumi burger, or for early risers the smashed avo on sourdough topped with siracha is always a winner.
Equally as mention, a pre walk stop take away coffees and homemade scones are always a hit.
County Roscommon Things To Do
Roscommon is a county steeped in history, we have had the priveledge to be here for 3 years now and in that time have seen what this county has to offer. And we are now delighted to offer our ultimate guide to County Roscommon.
Our guide includes our top 5 musts, walk, hotels, restaurants and a few little extras. Make sure to check it out.
Yes it is free all year round and always open
No some parts are closed for repairs.
The castle was built in 1269.
There is a ramp for wheelchairs.