Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Galway, Ireland

Fiddaun Castle

A remarkably intact castle that once was the largest in Ireland. 

Fiddaun Castle is an empty six story tower house off the beaten path in Tubber, County Galway, Ireland.

The size of the building itself may not be very big but Fiddaun was once considered the largest castle in all of Ireland, due to the amount of land that its outer walls encompassed— close to twelve acres. Sadly, the outer walls have not survived the ages as well as the castle.

Fiddaun Castle was built around 1574 and is remarkably preserved—the only things missing from it are the outer walls and the attic, or top story. It is best known for its incredibly intact inner walls, or bawn. They still stand around the tower house with climbable steps and walkable defenses. Though the castle has been empty for hundreds of years, it is also intact and you can explore every floor, corner, and even the rooftop if you can traverse the incredibly narrow and slippery spiral staircase. This makes it an unusual and slightly dangerous treat that you can explore at will.

Fiddaun is on private land and maintained by the Department of Public Works. To get there, you must pick up the key from the landowners (who may or may not chaperone or guide you) and hike through acres of fields before the castle even comes into view. It is a hidden gem tucked into the countryside and is not visible from the road. It is well worth the trek however, and it provides a rare glimpse into the castle living of the past.

The castle and the walk to it are not easily accessible. A sturdy pair of shoes is a necessity and a bottle of water is recommended. There are no facilities on site unless you count the centuries old garderobe, or medieval toilet, which is likely still intact as well.