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Enjoyed last week’s visit to Carrigtwohill’s 16th century Barryscourt Castle  (including guided tour), gardens and orchard last week. All for free! Not even a parking charge.

I have been here every now and then over the years but this was the first time I took the tour. The castle has been extensively renovated since my first visit (about 1982). It was fascinating to see the medieval security arrangements at the door, the dark dungeon, the internal kitchen (the main one was outside, across the bawn), the Great Hall and the vessels and plates and so on, the furnished bedroom and the small chapel.

Fascinating too to learn the history of the Barry family and its various branches but especially of the Barrymores who lived here. Fortunes went up and down over the centuries and people influencing events in Ireland, such as Queen Elizabeth the first, Walter Raleigh, Cromwell, Hugh O’Neill and so on, also influenced events here in this now tranquil corner of East Cork.

Details and pictures of orchard visit here.