Welcome to Castlemaine

Castlemaine Castle


Castlemaine takes its name from a castle erected in 1215 on the bridge over the River Maine by Mac Carthy More and the Earl of Desmond as a defense to the River Maine crossing. Until the seventeenth century the river formed the boundary between the Norman territories of the Fitzgeralds and the Gaelic lordships. Each chief was to protect it alternately; but when the Earl received possession of it from MacCarthy, he refused to admit McCarthy, and kept entire possession of the castle, which remained in his family under the reign of Elizabeth, when it became a royal fortress, and was besiged for 13 months in 1598-1599. During the Irish Confederate Wars of 1641 to 1653 the castle changed hands on a number of occasions, before being finally destroyed in 1652. Despite the destruction of the fortress, a Constable of Castlemaine Castle continued to be appointed until 1832, receiving income from the fisheries and fairs of the town and river.