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North Cork is a beautiful part of the country, and alongside the banks of the River Funcheon that winds its way through the rich pastureland you can find Glanworth, a village full of heritage and history with a number of great medieval buildings to explore.
Glanworth is thought to be associated with a branch of the Eoghanacht, the ancient ruling dynasty of Munster during the early medieval period, however no visible remains from that time can be seen today. Instead much of the historic structures in the village date to the medieval period, following the Norman invasions. This area of Cork was granted to two brothers called de Caunteton (whose later descendants became Condon). They constructed a castle with a manor and town. By the end of the thirteenth century, Glanworth passed into the hands of David Roche through marriage, and his descendants remained there until they lost their lands after the Cromwellian confiscations in the seventeenth century.
The first place we stopped at Glanworth was at the medieval friary. This was founded by the Roaches for the Dominican Order in 1475. Unfortunately only the church remains of the monastic site as there are no above ground traces of all the other monastic buildings including the dormitory, cloisters and refectory. The church is quite plain, a long rectangular building with a tall tower. It does have a very fine window on the eastern wall and is well worth a visit if you’re in the village.
|The fine gothic east window in Glanworth Friary|
|Glanworth Castle positioned high on the limestone outcrop|
|The hall-keep at Glanworth|
this type of building was usually split into two floors with the ground floor being defensive and the upper floor containing the great hall and domestic quarters. You can see other similar examples of Glanworth’s hall-keep at Rindoon in County Roscommon and at the Rock of Dunamase in County Laois. Soon after the first phase was completed, the gatehouse was extended and converted into a domestic residence. During the fifteenth century in the third phase of the castle, the gatehouse was transformed into a fashionable towerhouse. During the fourth and final stage of construction at Glanworth in the early seventeenth century, a kitchen was constructed inside the walls. The castle was badly damaged by the Cromwellian General Ireton’s artillery in 1649, and never recovered as a defensive site.
You can get some lovely views over the River from the castle, where you can see the beautiful sixteenth or seventeenth century bridge.
The town of Glanworth is certainly worth a visit, and there are a number of great heritage sites nearby too like the impressive Labbacallee Wedge Tomb.
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