The Bottom Line
- Impressive hulk of a plantation castle located near Lough Erne.
- Beautifully restored 17th century gardens.
- Tragic history highlights Ulster's turbulent past.
- Small exhibition in nearby cottages illustrates history and landscape.
- Not all parts of the ruins are child-safe.
- Plantation castle built around 1610 with a T-shaped tower house in a square enclosure.
- Ground floor is partially intact with a vaulted room.
- Castle was burned after the massacre of 1641 and never rebuilt.
Guide Review - Tully Castle (County Fermanagh)
Upon driving up to Tully Castle from the A46 I ignored the car park as no castle was in sight. Turned a corner and had a great view of the castle ... albeit from the middle of a field. So take care when driving here, the road stops suddenly and it is only a short walk from the car park.
A small but comprehensive exhibition in the old cottage sets the scene, then it is a further short walk up to the castle. And you are in for a surprise - in front of the ruined castle formal gardens are found, restored to an approximation of how they would have looked in the early 17th century. During Tully Castle's short period of use.
If you like your history nasty and (extremely) bloody, Tully Castle is the place to go. Attacked by the Gaelic Maguires during the Confederate War, the inhabitants decided to surrender on Christmas Eve 1641. Safe conduct was promised to the Protestant settlers, but the Maguires changed their mind ... 16 men as well as 69 women and children were brutally massacred on Christmas Day. Not really the place to spend Christmas then ...
But despite these events Tully Castle is in remarkably good shape. And lends itself to exploration. Just take care if you have young explorers with you - some tempting climbs are not really safe and should not be attempted. Keep an eye on the little ones!