A safe haven

Bullock Castle dates from the twelfth century (approximately 1150). The monks of St.Mary's Abbey built the castle in order to protect their lands and fishing rights from attack. Bullock Castle offered them a perfect haven as it overlooked the harbour. The plan of this castle is very simple, oblong in shape, with the lower (vaulted) story probably used as a store.

Battlements in the castle take the form of steps and the castle is divided into two. The castle became famous as a 'place of refuge' for many a visitor, the monks were famous for their hospitality.

Following on from the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII the castle was to be owned by many different inhabitants during its history. By the seventeenth century the castle remained in good condition but the same could not be said for the town.

The port was no longer being used as frequently. In 1641 John Fagan was in residence at the castle and reputedly helped the rebels out during the Rebellion.

During the early part of the eighteenth century the castle came under the stewardship of John Watson, a wealthy and benevolent man. He built a house beside the castle and offered shelter and assistance to people in need.

The castle currently belongs to the Carmelite Sisters. In 1964 they set up 'Our Lady's Manor' beside the castle, it acts as a nursing home for the elderly. Thankfully the castle itself has not been forgotten about and is recognised as a cultural/arts centre.

The end of the eighteenth century saw the decline of the castles/town houses around the area, due to the lessening of traffic through the port. In a sense the decline of the castle meant the end of a way of life.

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