Traditional Irish Name

Baile Ghoill an t-Seagail – Ballyguile of the rye, or town of Guile, Englishman or foreigner.1

Associated Families

De Lacy/Lacy.


BaronyConnello Upper.
Civil ParishBallingarry.
OS Map RefSheet 38.

Protected Structure Record

Reg. No: N/A.
Ref.  No: N/A.


Ballyguilleataggle Castle was a traditional De Lacy/Lacy stronghold. The family had held these and other surrounding lands under the earls of Desmond until 1583.

Ballyguilleataggle has evidently suffered a similar fate as the likes of Ballinoe Castle and Ballyegnybeg Castle – and is a truncated building, after been cut down to a few floors.

Unlike some other gutted buildings (see Ballinoe), Ballyguilleataggle retains some architectural features of interest, notably its arched doorways, spiral stairs and chambers.


The building is in a fair state of repair, though it was reported as far back as the late 19th century that some of its ‘ancient fabric’ had been replaced by farm buildings (see Image Gallery).2

Moreover, there was a concrete-type surface poured onto the (now) ‘roof’ of the building sometime during the last century.


The castle is on private land. Permission is required.

Historical Timeline

1569:Ballyguilleataggle Castle is taken by crown forces during the first Desmond rebellion (1169-73).
1583:Castle and lands held by John Lacy of Ballingarry under the late earl of Desmond.
1584:John Lacy is pardoned by Elizabeth I at the end of the Desmond rebellion.
1612:The estate regranted to William Lacy by James I.
1640:Held by William Lacy as part of his manor of Ballingarry.
1656:Lacy’s lands are seized by the Cromwellian government and he is transplanted to Connacht.
1667:Following the Act of Settlement (1662), Charles II grants Lacy’s Ballyguilleataggle estate and adjacent lands to John Odell.


1 See P.W. Joyce, Irish names of places, i,  98–99; Ordnance Survey Field Name Books, Ballingarrry parish, 4.
2 H. Molony, ‘Ancient churches and topography of Ballingarry Parish, County Limerick’ in JRSAI (1905), 263.


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.

For queries, suggested amendments, or other relevant information, or if you would like to contribute an archival image of Ballyguilleataggle Castle (of which you own the copyright), please leave a comment at the bottom of the page, or email (below).


Image Gallery

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Ballyguilleataggle Castle location

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