The castle was built by John D’Arcy (1785-1839) in a Gothic Revival style in the early 19th century. John was a man of drive, energy and determination. He founded Clifden in 1812 and built his castle around the same time. He was married twice and had fourteen children in all, leaving one to assume that this was a very full and noisy family home.
Following John’s death in 1839, the castle and town passed to his son and heir, Hyacinth. Like so many landlords in the West of Ireland, Hyacinth became bankrupt as a result of debts incurred during the Great Famine and in 1850 the town and castle went on sale.The new owners, the Eyre family from Bath in England, purchased the town and castle for £21,245. The Eyre’s lived at the castle until the 1920s when the lands were eventually purchased by the government and divided out among the tenants. Sadly, the castle had no outright owner and, in time, was stripped bare of its slates and timbers and eventually fell to ruin.
One of the interesting features of this property is the standing stones. D’Arcy had these stones erected to imitate other standing stones around Ireland. It isn’t unknown why he did this, but the stones have been surveyed and it has been determined that they are not as ancient as D’Arcy would have us believe.
The ruins are located west of the town of Clifden in the Connemara region of County Galway, Ireland.