Fenit & Surrounds – The Three Castles, the Old Village & More

Fenit Island Castle, Countt Kerry

Introduction

While Fenit Island Square Castle and Barrow Round Castle still dominate the landscape, a lesser known third castle once existed! The third castle, Tawlaght Castle was east on the mainland in Tawlaght townland, near Chapeltown. Nothing stands of this castle today.

Fenit Castle was owned by the FitzMaurices, Barrons of Kerry, while Tawlaght and Barrow were owned by the Earls of Desmond. Protection from seaborne attackers took the form of a metal chain which stretched across Barrow Harbour from the Fenit to Barrow castle locations. Divers have looked for remnants of the chain but nothing has been found to-date. During medieval times such chains could be attached to a tower with a mechanism to allow the rising or lowering of a chain, thereby giving or restricting access. A chain could be below the water surface or could be made to float with rafts, logs and other materials.

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