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Leap Castle

Leap Castle

Midlands Ireland | County Offaly

Leap Castle is located about 6 km north of the town of Roscrea and 10 km south of Kinnitty, just off the road R421, in County Offaly. The exact date of the towerhouse construction is unknown but it is thought to have been built between the late 15th and early 16th centuries by the O'Bannon clan who were subject to the ruling O'Carrolls. Gerald Fitzgerald, the Earl of Kildare, tried to seize the castle in 1513 and 1516, but he failed. In 1649, the castle passed into the hands of a Cromwellian soldier, Jonathon Darby, as a payment for his services. The Leap Castle remained the family house of the Darby family for about 350 years. In the 50s of the 18th century, the expansion began, which turned the towerhouse into a Gothic Revival mansion. Two wings were added to the north and south side of the castle, and a large Gothic doorway was added to the western wall. During the construction works in the early 1900s, workers discovered dungeons with remains of around 150 human skeletons. Three upright skeletons sealed into one of the castle's walls were also found. Since then, Leap Castle has built a reputation as one of the most haunted castles in Ireland. During the turbulent year of 1922, while its owners were away, the castle was set on fire by the IRA and later looted by local people. In 1974, the ruins of Leap Castle were purchased by Australian Peter Bartlett, who carried out reconstruction work until his death in 1989. Since 1991, the new owners, Sean and Anne Ryan have continued the renovation work while making the castle accessible to visitors and offering guided tours. Just 12 km northwest of Leap Castle is another worth visiting tourist attraction, the Birr Castle.

    • Daily: 10am - 5pm
    • Adult: €6
  • CAR PARK :
    • Yes

Photos from Leap Castle