Lohort Castle and a Bloody Battle

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  • Moments in Cork History

Built to last

Prince John, who would become King of England in 1199, built Lohort Castle in 1184 on the dividing line between Norman and Gaelic territory in Cork. It was supposed to be a defence against the Gaelic rebels who attacked the Norman settlers.

According to Charles Smith M.D. in his book 'The Ancient and Present State of The County and City of Cork 1750;

"It (Lohort) is 80 feet high, the walls are 10 feet thick, and moated round with a deep trench, which is passed by a drawbridge".

Civil War in the backyard

In 1496, Donagh Og MaCarthy McDonagh rebuilt the castle after years of damage caused by battles. It was passed down to members of his family until Sir Phillip Percival, who also owned Kanturk Castle, took over the deed in 1666.

It was on the grounds of Lohort that the bloodiest battle of the English Civil War took place in 1647 between the side who supported Charles I ('The Royalists') and the side who supported Parliament under Oliver Cromwell (the "Parliamentarians"). The castle was attacked but proved too strong for Cromwell's men as the walls were so thick. The battle only lasted for 3 hours but over 4,500 men were killed.

Lohort still stands today in Mallow Co. Cork, and is owned and occupied by the McCabe family.