Shrule Castle

Shrule Castle by Mike Searle

Shrule Castle was a detached three-bay two-story farmhouse (re-built 1813, extant 1838, occupied 1911) to a symmetrical plan with single-bay two-story side elevations. (The following is a description from 2010 but it is debatable how many renovations occurred to produce the building to date)  It featured a hipped state roof with clay ridge tiles, pair rendered ‘wallhead ’ chimney stacks at the rear that faced north.  Elevation had stepped capping that supported terracotta pots.  It had lime rendered walls with  segmental-headed central door opening approached by a flight of four dragged cut-short limestone steps with cut drag edged dragged cut limestone block with a short surround centred on keystone framed timber panelled double doors.  Included were square-headed window openings with drag edged dragged cut limestone sills & concealed dressed framed replacement six over six timber sash windows.  Within the drawing room at the south east end a carved timber surround to door opening was from timber panelled door. A Gothic style chimney piece & picture railing below run moulded plasterwork cornice to ceiling-moulded plasterwork cornice to ceiling.  The building was set back from the street within landscaped grounds with dragged cut-limestone cylindrical piers to perimeter had ‘cyma recta’ or ‘cyma reversa’ detailed polygonal capping supported replacement spear head-detailed mild steel double gates. [i]

Within the demesne at Ballycurrin are the remains of the well preserved Shrule Castle. [ii]

Six castles were constructed within this area i.e. Shrule, Kinlough, Moyne, Ballycarrun, Ballisnahyry also Moycharra.  For the most part the Mayo lands where castles were located were owned by the Mac Donnels of the south isles who settled in Antrim prior to a move to the west of Ireland.  This strong Shrule castle was constructed during 1238.  It was captured by Sir Edward Fitton in 1570.  During 1574 William Blake was in possession.  It passed to his son John during 1610 then to Richard Earl of Clanricarde who received lands & castle to an extant of four quarters.  Pierce Lynch leased it.  An interesting history of Shrule is available at this site. [iii]

A detailed list of occupants in the castle over the early years may be viewed at this site.  Most of the stone has been removed or has collapsed. A large crack runs from top to base of the tower.  Bartizans at top of each corner however remain in decent shape. [iv]

Shrule Castle was also known as Srutham  i.e. ‘Castle of the River.’  Constructed by the de Burgh family during 1238 near the Black River with the Mayo County border close by.  It remained in their possession until its capture during 1570.  Next occupier was William Blake who passed it to his son John during 1574.  Castle &  lands were leased to Pierce Lynch of Galway. [v]

This castle had a commanding view of Mayo’s border also the bridge over the river Black. [vi]

Further Information

Lee Johnson lists castles at this site:

Mayo castles are 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 viewed at this site;

An image of Shrule Castle by Patrick Larkin features at this link:

This site may be of interest:

This information may be of interest from J. F. Quinn’s History;


[i] Shrule House, Shrule ( [Assessed 12th February 2020]

[ii] Shrule ( [Assessed 12th February 2020]

[iii] Shrule History ( [Assessed 12th February 2020]

[iv] Shrule Castle ( [Assessed 12th February 2020]

[v] Shrule Castle ( [Assessed 12th February 2020]

[vi] Historic Buildings of County Mayo ( [Assessed 12th February 2020]


Comments about this page

  • Maureen regarding your query …regret delay in replying …contacted several sources ..
    This reply from County Librarian states his impression that he suspects the castle in question may be Shrewl Castle in County Laois … not Shrule in Co. Mayo. A marriage took place in Carlow on 17th June 1903 of Elizabeth Walker to Samuel Loundie (?) Wicklow. Have Cert if you supply email will forward it to you.

    By Noelene Beckett Crowe (04/01/2023)
  • My grandmother was born in Shrule Castle. Her name was Elizabeth Walker, then married Rev. Samuel Lundie. I understood that Shrule Castle burned down. I am just wondering if this is the Shrule Castle our family owned at one time. Is there a place where I can find the previous inhabitants.
    Many thanks,
    Maureen Lundie Harjula

    By Maureen Harjula (29/10/2022)

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