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Parkes Castle: A Magnificent Fortified Tower House on the Shores of Lough Gill

Parkes Castle Co Leitrim - ©Failte Ireland Courtesy Alison Crummy

Parkes Castle Co Leitrim - ©Failte Ireland Courtesy Alison Crummy

Explore the rich history and stunning location of Parke's Castle, a restored tower house on the shores of Lough Gill in County Leitrim.

Parkes Castle, located on the shores of Lough Gill in County Leitrim, is a magnificent fortified tower house that dates back to the early seventeenth century. Originally built as a home for English planter Robert Parke, the castle has a rich and tragic history that includes an earlier tower house owned by Irish lord Sir Brian O'Rourke and the drowning of two of Parke's children in the lake.

After falling into disrepair, Parke's Castle was restored in the late twentieth century using traditional Irish oak and craftsmanship. Today, visitors can explore the castle's intricate details and learn about its history through guided tours.

But it's not just the castle itself that's worth visiting - the location is simply breathtaking. Set against the stunning backdrop of Lough Gill, Parkes Castle offers visitors a unique view of the surrounding landscape. It's an ideal spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll around the lake, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy nearby, such as fishing, kayaking, and hiking.

If you're looking for more things to do in the area, consider visiting nearby attractions like the Glencar Waterfall or the Arigna Mining Experience. You can also take a scenic drive through the countryside or visit some of the charming towns and villages in the region, such as Drumshanbo or Carrick-on-Shannon.

When visiting Parke's Castle, be sure to take a guided tour to learn about the castle's history and the restoration process. The tour includes a visit to the castle's various rooms, including the great hall, the kitchen, and the bedrooms. You'll also learn about the castle's various owners over the centuries, from Sir Brian O'Rourke to Robert Parke and beyond.

If you're interested in outdoor activities, Lough Gill offers plenty of opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and hiking. You can also take a boat tour of the lake to see some of the area's stunning scenery and wildlife, such as swans, herons, and otters.

For those interested in history and heritage, nearby attractions like the Glencar Waterfall and the Arigna Mining Experience offer a glimpse into the region's past. The waterfall, located in the scenic Glencar Valley, is a popular spot for hiking and picnicking, while the mining experience allows visitors to explore the history of coal mining in the area.

Overall, a visit to Parke's Castle is a must for anyone traveling to County Leitrim. With its stunning location, rich history, and outdoor activities, it's a unique and memorable destination in Ireland's northwest.