Castle Carra 

Castle Carra by Mike Searle

There is an image of the castle at this site where the family history of Staunton’s is recorded.  Adam Staunton was referred to as ‘a great baron of Kildare.’ (Maclysagh )  Adam or his brother or son arrived in Mayo with the Burke’s.  They were provided with the district of Carra where he built a castle circa 1229.  It was a three – story tower with a strong bawn.  It was held by the Staunton’s until the end of the 16th century.  During that time, they had changed their surname. [i]

There is a view of the Castle among this article: it was built during the thirteenth century by Adam Staunton an Anglo – Norman from Warwickshire who was permitted to construct the Castle by de Burgo. [ii]

Carra Castle or Caislean Cheara was a tower house that now is a National Monument.  It was situated 2.5 km west of Carnacon on the east bank of Lough Carra.  It was established by Adam de Stanton as a rectangular hall house.  He was an Anglo – Norman subject of de Burgo’s family during the thirteen century.  Additions of a Plinth, Bawn, outbuildings also a gateway were later built by Mac Evilly.  With the surrender of the castle to the Crown during the 1570’s the new owner Captain William Bowen strengthened the bawn with a circular flanker with gunhooks that faced inland.  His lands were in turn seized by Sir Roebuck Lynch though he was compensated by lands at Castle Carra during the seventh century.  During the 1660’s the castle passed to Sir Henry Lynch 3rd Baronet.  The Lynch’s remained in possession until the nineteenth century. The Castles Coordinates were 53.721389N 9.255278W. [iii]

This Castle was built by Adam Staunton, an Anglo – Norman from Warwickshire, England in the thirteenth century with the permission of De Burgo’s.  It was a two – story square tower house.  The Staunton family held the Seat up to the eighteenth century.  The Castle was granted to Sir Henry Lynch 5th Baronet following the Restoration Settlement.  The mansion house with offices were described during 1844 as ‘now almost in ruins.’  The castle ruins now visible include a pillar, ruins of a story residence, with a wall connected to it at the rear of house.  There is a small chamber that still has an arched roof intact, also at the end of the chamber is a small slit window.  The outline of an upper story window plus chimney remains are visible. [iv]

Partry House dates from 1667 when it was built on the remains of Cloonlagheen Castle by Arthur Lynch as a Dowager house for his mother Lady Ellis the widow of Sir Roebuck Lynch of Castle Carra.  By the first half of the seventeenth century Sir Roebuck Lynch’s lands were seized by the Cromwellian Army.  He was compensated by lands at Castle Carra.  It was named after Cloonlagheen or ‘the meadow of the little lake’ as the townland on which it stood was known.  Evidence of the original castle was discovered during 1995 when restorative work revealed slit windows that opened inward at knee level on the first floor.  The old castle walls had been incorporated into the stable walls.  Knox’s ‘History of Mayo’ 1910 stated that Cloonlagheen Castle was owned by Abbé MacEvile of Ballintubber Abbey. [v]

Carra Castle was built on a rocky perch above Lough Carra by the de Staunton family.  Additional improvements by his descendants MacEvilly’s included a battered plinth also a small polygonal bawn that surrounded the castle.  They added a large outbuilding with gateways.  The castle was surrendered to the Crown then granted to Captain William Bowan who strengthened the bawn with gunloops at the north – east corner.  The Castle passed to Sir Henry Lynch during 1660’s.  It remained in the family hands until the nineteenth century.  An image of castle ruins features on this site by Mike Searle.[vi]

Philip the son of Sir Bernard Staunton was awarded the district of Carra when he arrived at County Mayo.  He erected a castle & built a town in approximately 1229.  Carra Castle consisted of a three – story Tower inside a strong bawn.  The family resided there until the sixteenth century.  They rebuilt an O’Flaherty Castle Kilboynell also called Kilvoynell or Lilfeynell near to Carra Castle.  They built two other castles Kilkerren & Cloynloghen. [vii]

Carra Castle is mentioned among the castles on this site as a thirteenth century building.  It was a Rectangular great tower also a hall – house owned by de Staunton & Mc Evilly.[viii]

Partry House is an Historic Building that was erected during 1667 on the site of an old Castle. [ix]

This site has a beautiful image of the Castle ruins.  The Castle was a 13th century great tower on the shores of Lough Carra. [x]

These Landowners were mentioned in Burke John, H. Colburn & R. Bently’s 1832 ‘A General & Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage & Baronage of the British Empire’  page 123 at this link: 


Lee Johnson lists Castles at this site:

There are Mayo castles listed in alphabetical order at this link:

Castles in County Mayo are listed on this site:

Images of several castles by Mike Searles may be view at his site;


[i] Staunton History ( [assessed 7th June 2020]

[ii] Castlebar Co. Mayo ( [assessed 7th June 2020]

[iii] Castle Carra ( [assessed 7th June 2020]

[iv] Ruined remains of Carra Castle ( [assessed 2nd July 2020]

[v] History of Partry House ( [assessed 2nd July 2020]

[vi] Castle Carra ( [assessed 2nd July 2020]

[vii] Staunton History ( [assessed 2nd July 2020]

[viii] Castles of Ireland ( [assessed 2nd  July 2020]

[ix] Partry House Partry ( [assessed 2nd  July 2020]

[x] Castle Carra near Carncon ( [assessed 2nd  July 2020]

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