parkes castle

Parkes Castle: Ireland’s Lakeside Wonder

Discover the captivating beauty and rich history of Parkes Castle, a magnificent fortress situated on the serene lakes of Ireland. This stunning castle is a must-visit destination that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture, breathtaking vistas, and fascinating history that make it unique.

Embark on a journey through this magnificent castle, and explore its grandeur, architectural significance, and the stories of its former inhabitants. From the meticulously restored rooms to the hidden treasures and artifacts, Parkes Castle offers visitors a glimpse into another era.

Key Takeaways:

  • Parkes Castle is a stunning lakeside castle in Ireland with a rich history and captivating beauty.
  • The castle offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the vibrant culture, breathtaking vistas, and fascinating history that make it unique.
  • Explore the meticulously restored rooms, hidden treasures, artifacts, and artwork that offer insights into the castle’s history and the lives of its former inhabitants.
  • Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Parkes Castle through the various activities and events held throughout the year.
  • Learn about the efforts made to preserve and conserve Parkes Castle for future generations.

A Glimpse into the Past: Parkes Castle’s History

Step back in time and discover the fascinating history of Parkes Castle. Built in the 17th century, this magnificent castle has a rich and captivating story to tell. The construction of Parkes Castle was commissioned by Robert Parke, a member of the English Parliament, who had settled in the area. The castle was designed to be a symbol of his wealth and power.

The castle’s location on the shores of Lough Gill played an important role in its history. The lake was once a major transportation route, connecting the castle to other parts of Ireland. The castle itself was strategically located to oversee the surrounding lands and waterways, providing the Parke family with a commanding view of their domain.

The Parkes were a wealthy and influential family who played a significant role in the history of the region. They were involved in the plantations of Ireland and the colonization of America. The castle passed from the Parke family to the Cooper family, who made significant changes to the castle, including the construction of a new wing.

During the 19th century, the castle fell into disrepair and was abandoned. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that restoration work began on the castle. The work was carried out by the Office of Public Works, and it took over two decades to complete. Today, the castle stands as a testament to the architectural and cultural heritage of Ireland.

The Parkes Family

The Parkes were a prominent family in the area, and they played a significant role in shaping the history of Ireland. Robert Parke, who commissioned the construction of Parkes Castle, was a Member of Parliament in England and a wealthy landowner in Ireland.

The Parkes were involved in the plantations of Ireland, which involved the confiscation of land from Irish families and the transfer of ownership to English and Scottish settlers. The Parkes were also involved in the colonization of America, with members of the family settling in Virginia and Massachusetts.

Throughout the centuries, the Parkes family maintained their influence in the region. The family’s legacy can still be seen in the castle’s architecture, which reflects the wealth and power of the Parkes.

Exploring the Castle’s Architecture and Design

Enter the world of architectural brilliance and discover the unique blend of styles that define Parkes Castle. With its medieval influences and elegant Renaissance features, this castle is a perfect example of Ireland’s architectural heritage. The castle’s awe-inspiring design showcases the intricate stone carvings, ornate ceilings, grand hallways, and towering stone walls that transport visitors to another era.

The Renaissance style offers visitors the chance to marvel at the attention to detail and intricate designs typical of the period. From the arcading and roundels of the four-centred arch to the ornate plasterwork on the ceilings, the design choices are deliberate and awe-inspiring.

The castle’s medieval features, on the other hand, allow visitors to experience a glimpse into the past, with examples of the pointed arches, vaulted roofs, and battlemented parapets. The combination of the two styles offers visitors a unique insight into the architectural history of Ireland.

The Intricacies of Parkes Castle’s Design

Architectural Style Features
  • Ornate plasterwork on the ceilings
  • The arcading and roundels of the four-centred arch
  • Large-and-small rusticated masonry
  • Pointed arches
  • Vaulted roofs
  • Battlemented parapets

The overall result of the combination of these styles is a cohesive and unique design that is breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring. A visit to Parkes Castle is an excellent opportunity to witness the evolution of Irish architecture in one beautiful setting.

The Secrets Within: Parkes Castle’s Interior

As you step inside Parkes Castle, you are transported back in time to an era of opulence and grandeur. The castle’s meticulously restored rooms offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in its captivating history.

Room Description
Great Hall The grand hall is the heart of the castle, where important meetings and events were held. Its high ceilings and large fireplaces offer a glimpse into the castle’s former splendor.
Bedchambers The castle’s bedchambers are where the former inhabitants slept. The rooms are adorned with luxurious fabrics and antique furnishings, providing visitors with a glimpse into the daily lives of the castle’s former occupants.
Kitchen The castle’s original kitchen has been restored to its former glory. Visitors can learn about the cooking methods used in the 17th century and see the various tools and utensils that were used.

The castle’s interior is also adorned with hidden treasures, artifacts, and artwork that offer insights into the castle’s history and the lives of its former inhabitants. Visitors can learn about the castle’s past through the carefully curated exhibits that showcase the castle’s historical significance.

Guided castle tours offer visitors an in-depth look at the castle’s interior, with knowledgeable guides sharing stories and insights about Parkes Castle’s unique history.

Experience the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era as you explore the secrets within Parkes Castle’s interior on one of the castle tours.

A Stroll Through the Castle Grounds

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take a leisurely walk through the tranquil grounds that surround Parkes Castle. Nestled on the banks of Lough Gill, the castle boasts a scenic location that will leave you breathless.

Explore the ancient trees, manicured gardens, and the winding paths that lead to the castle’s entrance. The grounds provide ample opportunities for visitors to take stunning photographs or simply soak in the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

During the summer months, Parkes Castle offers guided tours of the castle’s exterior and grounds, providing fascinating insights into the castle’s history, surrounding area, and natural habitat.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife in the area, including otters, swans, and even eagles.

Whether you’re visiting Parkes Castle for the first time or returning for a second visit, a stroll through the castle grounds is an absolute must.

A Stroll Through the Castle Grounds

After exploring the grandeur and opulence of Parkes Castle’s interior, take a leisurely walk through the picturesque grounds that surround the castle. The serene lakeside setting offers stunning views of the lush greenery and ancient trees that frame the castle.

The grounds feature carefully manicured gardens that harken back to a time of elegance and sophistication. Walking through the gardens, you’ll be surrounded by the scent of fresh flowers and the sound of buzzing bees.

Pay attention to the details as you stroll through the castle grounds. The landscaping is designed to complement the castle’s architectural style and transport you to another era. You’ll quickly see why this castle has been a source of inspiration for artists and writers for centuries.

As you make your way through the castle grounds, be sure to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The lake is a source of tranquility, where you can take pause and admire the beauty of the water.

Castle Tours and Activities

For a truly immersive experience, consider taking a guided tour of the castle grounds. You’ll learn about the history of the castle and the surrounding area and get an in-depth look at the architecture and design of the castle.

In addition to guided tours, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors engaged. Take part in a medieval reenactment, attend a cultural festival, or enjoy an outdoor concert. The vibrant atmosphere of Parkes Castle is sure to delight visitors of all ages and interests.

  • Guided tours
  • Medieval reenactments
  • Cultural festivals
  • Outdoor concerts

Plan your visit to Parkes Castle and experience the tranquility and beauty of the castle grounds.

Exploring the Surrounding Area

While Parkes Castle is undoubtedly a highlight of the area, there is so much more to see and do in the surrounding region. This part of Ireland is known for its incredible landscapes, quaint villages, and rich history that dates back thousands of years.

One popular destination near Parkes Castle is the Glencar Waterfall, a stunning natural wonder that cascades down a rocky cliff face into a shimmering pool below. The nearby town of Sligo is also worth a visit, with its charming streets filled with colorful buildings and bustling markets.

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, consider hiking in the nearby hills or renting a kayak to explore the tranquil waters of Lough Gill. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shore and enjoy the serene beauty of the area.

There are also several other Irish castles in the area, including the impressive Donegal Castle and the iconic Drumcliffe Round Tower. History buffs will appreciate the wealth of information and stories held within these ancient monuments.

Whatever your interests, the area surrounding Parkes Castle has something to offer. Explore the picturesque countryside, delve into the rich history and culture of Ireland, and be captivated by the stunning scenery that surrounds you.

The Legacy of Parkes Castle: Conservation and Preservation

The preservation and conservation of historic landmarks like Parkes Castle play a vital role in maintaining our cultural heritage and architectural legacy. The castle has undergone extensive restoration to ensure that it remains a place of historical significance and beauty for generations to come.

Since its acquisition by the Irish government in the mid-20th century, Parkes Castle has been carefully maintained and preserved through a combination of expert restoration and ongoing conservation efforts. Skilled craftsmen and conservators have worked tirelessly to restore the castle’s unique architectural features, from its ornate ceilings and stone carvings to the grand hallways and original kitchen.

Restoration Techniques Conservation Methods
  • Stone masonry
  • Stained glass repair
  • Roof restoration
  • Painting and decoration
  • Humidity control
  • Pest management
  • Artifact preservation
  • Environmental monitoring

Visitors to Parkes Castle can take comfort in knowing that this important piece of Irish history is being preserved for future generations. The castle’s significance extends beyond its architectural features and historical relevance; it also serves as a testament to the resilience and creativity of the Irish people.

Through careful conservation and restoration, the legacy of Parkes Castle will endure, providing a window into the past and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

Local Legends and Tales

As with any castle that has stood the test of time, Parkes Castle has its fair share of local legends and tales that have been passed down from generation to generation.

One of the most well-known legends is that of the Banshee, a female spirit who is said to wail loudly when someone is about to die. Legend has it that the Banshee can be heard near the castle, warning of impending doom.

Another tale surrounds the ghost of Myles O’Reilly, a former owner of the castle who is said to haunt the grounds. Visitors have reported seeing the ghostly figure of a man roaming the castle’s corridors and disappearing into thin air.

Many locals also believe that there is hidden treasure buried somewhere within the castle’s walls. Some say that it was left behind by the O’Reilly family, while others believe that it was stowed away by the castle’s former residents to protect it from thieves and raiders.

Whether you believe in these tales or not, they add an extra layer of intrigue and mystery to an already fascinating castle.


In conclusion, Parkes Castle stands as a testament to Ireland’s rich history and cultural diversity. Its majestic architecture and stunning surroundings offer a glimpse into a bygone era, while its meticulously restored interior gives visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the opulence of a bygone era. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and captivating travel experience, a tour of Parkes Castle is a must.

As one of the most beautiful and well-preserved Irish castles, Parkes Castle is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. Its rich history, which dates back to the 17th century, is a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of the Irish people.

If you’re planning a visit to Ireland, be sure to put Parkes Castle on your itinerary. Take a guided tour, explore the castle’s lush grounds, and uncover the secrets that make this lakeside wonder so special. With events and activities held throughout the year, there’s always something new to discover at Parkes Castle. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Ireland’s past.


What is the history of Parkes Castle?

Parkes Castle dates back to the 17th century and has a rich history. It was constructed by the Parkes family and has since been home to prominent families. Learn more about its fascinating past on a tour.

What can I expect to see inside Parkes Castle?

Inside Parkes Castle, you’ll find meticulously restored rooms, including the great hall, bedchambers, and the castle’s original kitchen. Explore the hidden treasures, artifacts, and artwork that offer insights into its history.

What architectural styles can I see at Parkes Castle?

Parkes Castle showcases a unique blend of architectural styles, from medieval influences to elegant Renaissance features. Marvel at the intricate stone carvings, ornate ceilings, and grand hallways that transport visitors to another era.

Are there guided tours available at Parkes Castle?

Yes, guided tours are available at Parkes Castle. Join a knowledgeable guide who will provide insights into the castle’s history, architecture, and the lives of its former inhabitants.

What activities and events can I participate in at Parkes Castle?

Parkes Castle offers a range of activities and events throughout the year. From guided tours and medieval reenactments to cultural festivals and outdoor concerts, there is always something to engage visitors of all ages and interests.

How can I explore the surrounding area of Parkes Castle?

Beyond the castle grounds, you can explore the charming villages, pristine lakes, and breathtaking landscapes that surround Parkes Castle. Discover nearby attractions and activities that complement your visit.

What efforts are made to preserve Parkes Castle?

Parkes Castle has been carefully preserved and conserved for future generations. Learn about the techniques and methods employed in the restoration process, ensuring that the castle remains a place of historical significance and architectural beauty.

Are there any local legends associated with Parkes Castle?

Yes, Parkes Castle has its fair share of local legends and tales. From ghost stories to mythical creatures, the castle’s history is steeped in folklore. Immerse yourself in the captivating narratives that have been passed down through generations.

Why should I visit Parkes Castle?

Parkes Castle is a magnificent lakeside wonder that offers a captivating journey through Ireland’s history and culture. From its architectural grandeur to the tranquil beauty of its surroundings, this castle is a must-visit destination for those seeking a glimpse into the past.