Cullahill Castle was the principal stronghold of the Mac Giolla Phádraig (MacGillapatricks) of Upper Ossory, and is found in the village of Cullahill in County Laois, a hundred yards out on the road up the nearby hill that gives the area its name.
The castle was built around 1425 and destroyed around 1650, in the days of Cromwell.
Cullahill castle was built around 1425, probably by Finghin MacGillapatrick.
Reportedly the castle came under attack on several occasions by the "sovereign and citizens of Kilkenny" under reward from King Henry VI. Such attacks were reported in 1441 and 1517.
The castle was attacked and partially destroyed by Cromwell's forces around 1650. It was probably attacked by cannon from a nearby hill.
It was recorded as "ruinous and uninhabitated" in 1657.
The castle is a tower-house rising to five storeys. Most of the northern portion, including the doorway, is missing. It is vaulted above the ground floor and has mural passages and chambers. A straight mural stairway rises to the upper levels. There are remains of mullioned windows at the higher floors of the castle.
The castle has a Sheela na Gig mounted on the outer wall behind the chimney.
Across the road lies the ruins of its chapel which was the private chapel of the Roman Catholic lords of Upper Ossory.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about Cullahill Castle)
- Cullaghill Castle on 'Ireland in Ruins'
- Carrigan, William: 'The history and antiquities of the diocese of Ossory' (Volume 2) (Sealy, Bryers & Walker, 1905) pages 231–233