Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea


Sir James Balfour, a Plantation undertaker from Fifeshire, Scotland, built Castle Balfour in around 1618 on the edge of a low limestone cliff on the edge of the present town of Lisnaskea to assist in the securing of the plantation of Ulster, occurring at this time. Continue reading “Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea”


Monea Castle


This is most complete and the best preserved of Ulster’s plantation castles and well worth a visit. I have also written reviews on a number of others.

The so-called plantation castles were built in the 1610s and 1620s to consolidate the Ulster plantation of that period – when Ulster was colonised (following the Flight of the Earls in 1607) and planted with loyal wealthy landowners (from Scotland and England) to prevent further rebellion. Ulster had been the region most resistant to English control during the preceding century. Continue reading “Monea Castle”

Tully Castle


A series of castles were built in County Fermanagh (and elsewhere in Ulster) in the 1610s and 1620s by settlers who arrived in the Plantation of Ulster around this time. The castles served a dual purpose. They were both a display of wealth and power over the supplanted Irish and a line of defence to support and bolster the Plantation. Continue reading “Tully Castle”


Necerne Castle – What’s on the Slab?


Necerne Castle is one of many Plantation Castles in Country Fermanagh – that is a castle built or acquired by English or Scottish settlers in the early 1600s. What differentiates this from many of the others including Tully, Monea, Crevenish and Portora is its two storey Tudor-Gothic south wing extension added in 1833, its relatively better state of repair (it was used until the late 1940s) and the striking blue wooden panels securing its windows and doors! Continue reading “Necerne Castle – What’s on the Slab?”


Castle Archdale Country Park

The original building on Castle Archdale estate, and the one which gives it its name, was a Plantation castle built in 1615 for the English ‘undertaker’ planter, John Archdale from Suffolk, on land granted to him in 1612. An ‘undertaker’ planter was a landlord who was given a large estate of land at a low rent in exchange for an undertaking to settle ten English or Scottish families on each 1000 acres of land received. Continue reading “Castle Archdale Country Park”