Ardandragh castle was the most noted of all the O Farrell castles in County Longford in the 12th century. It was built on high (Ard) ground and had a commanding view of the surrounding countryside into Westmeath, Cavan, and Roscommon.
In its early day’s the castle had a defence of earth and timber. In the fourteenth century the defence was replaced by stone walls. The ground floor consisted of a large kitchen and washroom also servants’ quarters. The floor was flagged and cobbled, with the doorway arched.A stone stairway,which takes one to the first floor and from there to all floors. The first floor contained one of the principal living chambers of the castle, with dressed stone around the doors and windows.
It was lit with natural sunlight, and was heated by a finely crafted fireplace which carried a number of screens to provide privacy to the household.
The second floor was a private relaxation area where the family and friends had their conversations of medieval hospitality – reading storytelling drinking etc.
The third floor was where the family and friends enjoyed the benefits of their castle with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. They could also observe what was going on around them. The stairs extended to roof level, giving access to the wall walk around the rooftop which afforded commanding views of the surrounding countryside. Above this area was a roof/attic.
In 1903 Ardandragh Castle and lands came into ownership of Hugh Brady. As the castle continued to deteriorate Hugh Brady tried to get the office of the Irish Antiquarian Society to take over the castle and have it preserved as a national monument. This didn’t happen and the castle was demolished in 1906.
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My grandfather’s family Tom O’Farrell and of course mine too..
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