Portumna Castle, a semi-fortified Jacobean mansion, is pleasantly situated on the oaklands that fringe the northern shore of Lough Derg on the river Shannon. Built before 1618 by Richard Burke or de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanricarde. The castle was the main seat of the de Burgo family for over 200 years, until it was gutted by fire in 1826.
Architecturally the building marks the transition from the medieval Tower House to the Renaissance style manor house. Following the fire and the ravages of time the castle degenerated into a roofless ruin. However, since 1968, the Government has carried out major conservation work to the fabric of the building as well as to the garden walls and gateways.
In order to prevent further deterioration of surviving features some reconstruction work has been undertaken. The building has been re-roofed and based on extensive ongoing archaeological and historical research, other major conservation and partial restoration work, carried out by a team of skilled craftsmen, is proceeding in the Castle and the outer courtyards.
The imposing facade of the castle faces north and its dramatic approach by a long avenue has three formal enclosures with three axially aligned gateways. In the early 17th Century there was extensive garden making going on in Europe and the Italian Renaissance gardens had immense influence on the builders of the gardens here in Portumna Castle. The northern approach was planted in the most up to date style of the 17th Century forming a very impressive layout. The inner courtyard known as the 'Grianian' or Ladies Garden is planted with Old Roses which are of the same variety (Moss) planted here in the 17th Century. They bloom only once a year from mid June to end of July and have a strong fragrance reflecting the atmosphere of the time.
The Kitchen garden situated to east of the courtyard was laid out on a grid pattern, providing vegetables, fruit and herbs for the Castle occupants. Today it has been restored under a FAS scheme in partnership with the OPW. Period techniques and heritage plants have been used to create a thriving vegetable plot, producing seasonal organic fruit and vegetables supplying local shops, restaurants and markets.
The ground floor of the building is now open to the public and houses an exhibition and DVD on the history of the building and the de Burgo family.
Portumna Castle is surrounded by the towns & local attractions and amenities, i.e. Lough Derg, the Shannon river, Portumna Forest Park, the 13th/15th century Cistercian/Dominican Priory, also a modern playground, picnic areas, local resturaunts and Hotel.
Open daily from April to End of September 9.30am - 6pm Daily
Weekends only(Fri,Sat, & Sun)for the month of October.
Last admission 45 minutes before closing time.
Facilities: Exhibitions, gardens, car park, resturaunts/tearooms within walking distance.
Admission charges 2018: Adult= €5, Senior Citizens/Groups = €4, Child/Student = €3 (under 12's go FREE), Family €13
FREE guided tour available with admission ticket, subject to guide availability (duration approximately 45 minutes).