- Redwood Castle
Redwood Castle (also known as "Egan Castle" or "Caislean Choillte Rua" in Irish) is a Norman
castlein Lorrha, County Tipperary, Ireland. [http://www.discoverireland.ie/di/resultsengine/IndividualResultTCS.aspx?touristItemID=49165 DiscoverIreland.ie - Official Irish Tourist Board website - Redwood Castle] ]
The castle was built by the Normans around 1200 AD, and was occupied by them until c.1350, when the (Mac)Egans ("Mac Aodhagáin" in Irish) were installed on the lands.
As hereditary Brehons or lawyers, the (Mac)Egan clan established a school of learning here, which was patronised by the family for several hundred years. [http://www.clanegan.org/redwood.htm Clan Egan website - Redwood Castle page] ]
The castle was enlarged and renovated several times, with considerable work in 1350 and 1580. [ [http://www.redwoodcastleireland.com/castle-history-page.html redwoodcastleireland.com] ] Aside from the original thick stone walls, the building demonstrates some architectural features common to Irish
fortificationsof the period (including a Murder-hole), and some less common features (including a Sheela na Gig). [ [http://www.irelands-sheelanagigs.org/index.php?id=100 Ireland's Sheela na Gigs: Redwood] ]
The castle remained under continuous occupation and ownership by the (Mac)Egan families until it was confiscated and burned at the time of the Cromwellian conquest c.1650.
The site remained in ruin, with only the thick exterior walls standing, until Michael J. Egan, a Mayo lawyer, purchased and renovated the building in 1972. While the castle remains a private residence, terms of the Department of Finance "Heritage/Cultural Tax Relief" mean the castle is open daily to the public 2 til 6 p.m. from July 4th to September 1st.
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