Traditional Irish Name

Beolán – Boolan/Bolane is possibly a man’s name/surname.1

Associated Families



Civil Parish
OS Map Ref
Sheet 12.

Protected Structure Record

Reg. No: N/A.
Ref.  No: N/A.


Bolane Castle was a FitzGerald stronghold, dating from the later fifteenth century. It is built on a low limestone rock, rectangular in shape, 30 feet long, 20 broad and about 80 feet in height.

The castle has two vaults and an upper room ‘with the usual ambreys and angle-slits’ and arrow-slit windows at all levels. It had a ‘slight turret at the battlement’ of the tower.1


The north wall is completely destroyed, but the other side of the tower is in a relatively good state of preservation and fragments of the other walls are extant.
The lower section of the castle is obscured by trees (see Image Gallery).


The castle is on private land. Permission is required.

Historical Timeline

1583:The castle and lands are held by William MacRichard MacWilliam. It had been the possession of Thomas FitzGerald of Glin, who was attainted of high treason.
1615:Bolane is recorded as the being late estate of William MacShane FitzGerald.
1625:Edmund FitzGerald owned the estate at his death.
1632:Castle and lands formally granted to Edmund’s son and heir, William FitzGerald.
1655:The estate of Bolane, including the castle and 200 acres, is owned by William FitzGerald; another 30 acres of the estate is owned by Richard and John FitzGerald.

Bolane was a then a small nucleated settlement, described as:

“Beolane, with a Castle and five tenements, & cabbins uppon it.”3

1656:Cromwellian adventurer Richard Bury is granted these and other lands in the barony of Kenry.
1666:Bolane is confirmed to Phineas Bury under the Act of Settlement.


1 According to the Ordnance Field Names Book, Kenry parish, 10.
2 Westropp, ‘Ancient Castles … Limerick’, 163; Ordnance Field Names Book, Kenry parish, 34.
3 Civil Survey … Limerick, 350.


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 Bolane 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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Castle location on map

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