Traditional Irish Name
Es Geiphtíne – the cataract (small waterfall) of Geiphtin.
FitzGerald/Earls of Desmond.
|OS Map Ref||Sheet 11.|
Askeaton was a stronghold of successive earls of Desmond until 1583.
The building is described by one source as ‘An excellent instance of a motte-and-bailey castle, where the motte is of natural rock’.1
The castle is surrounded by a wall and encompassed by the river Deel. The entrance would have been via a drawbridge.
The six-storey keep is about 90 feet high. The ‘Banqueting Hall’ lies to the south-west of the castle.2
The castle is under the auspices of the OPW.
Askeaton Castle is open to the public. Guided tours are run by the OPW.
|1199:||Hamo de Valognes, justiciar of Ireland (1196-99), is granted this land by King John and erects the castle of Es Geiphtíne/Askeaton on a small island in the river Deel.|
|1215:||Hamo Fitz Hamo de Valognes inherits his father’s lands, including Askeaton.|
|1318:||Askeaton held by Richard de Clare until his death.|
|1321:||Held by Maurice de Rocheford; later jointly held with Maurice FitzThomas.|
|1330: (circa)||Stronghold of Maurice FitzThomas/first earl of Desmond (1329).|
|1345:||Earl of Desmond proclaimed a ‘rebel’; the castle is taken by Ralph Ufford, justiciar of Ireland.|
|1348:||Earl of Desmond pardoned and Askeaton restored to him.|
|1579:||Castle attacked by crown forces during second Desmond rebellion (1579-83).|
|1580:||Castle taken by the English. Desmond’s forces unsuccessfully attempt to blow up the castle before withdrawing.|
|1583:||End of the Desmond rebellion. Askeaton Castle and lands seized by Elizabeth I.|
|1590:||Granted to English ‘undertaker’ Francis Berkeley as part of the Munster Plantation.|
|1598-99:||Irish forces under James FitzThomas FitzGerald, the Súgán earl of Desmond, lay siege to the castle. Berkeley holds out for months until finally relieved.|
|1642:||Garrisoned by Lord Broghill during Confederate War, but taken by Irish Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. Patrick Purcell.|
|1652:||Dismantled by Cromwellian forces under Captain Axtell.|
|1691:||Garrisoned by Williamite forces.|
1 E.S. Armitage, The early Norman castles of the British Isles (1912), 332.
2 See Ordnance Survey Letters, Askeaton parish, 456-58.
All historical information is compiled from archival material; primary sources (such as State Papers); secondary sources; plus authoritative digital sources (such as CELT). Any direct quote or a further reading suggestion is footnoted.
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