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Enniskillen Castle

The Living Legacy of County Fermanagh

Nestled on the tranquil shores of Lough Erne, Enniskillen Castle stands as an enduring symbol of County Fermanagh’s rich and complex history. This formidable fortress, with its historic significance, stunning architecture, and the wealth of stories it holds, offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the past and explore the cultural heritage of Northern Ireland.

A History of Fortification

The origins of Enniskillen Castle trace back to the 16th century, during the Tudor conquest of Ireland. It was initially constructed as a defensive stronghold to protect the strategically important region of Fermanagh. Over the centuries, the castle played a central role in the tumultuous events of Ireland’s history, witnessing conflicts, sieges, and political upheaval.

The Castle’s Architecture

Enniskillen Castle boasts an intriguing blend of architectural styles, reflecting its varied history. The Watergate, one of its most distinctive features, is a stunning example of Jacobean architecture. This ornate gateway, adorned with decorative turrets and distinctive stonework, offers a glimpse into the architectural prowess of the period.

Museums and Exhibitions

Today, Enniskillen Castle has been transformed into a museum that tells the story of Fermanagh’s history. The castle is home to two museums: the Inniskillings Museum and the Fermanagh County Museum.

  • The Inniskillings Museum: This museum focuses on the history of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. It’s a treasure trove of military artifacts, including uniforms, weapons, and personal items that chronicle the regiment’s storied past.
  • Fermanagh County Museum: This museum provides a comprehensive view of Fermanagh’s history, culture, and heritage. It delves into topics ranging from archaeology and natural history to local traditions and the impact of war on the region.

Exploring the Grounds

The grounds surrounding Enniskillen Castle are a delightful place to explore. The castle is situated on the banks of Lough Erne, and visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the water’s edge, taking in the serene beauty of the surroundings. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, picnics, or simply to relax and absorb the peaceful ambiance.

Visiting Enniskillen Castle

Enniskillen Castle is open to the public, and its museums are both educational and engaging for visitors of all ages. Guided tours are available, providing in-depth insights into the castle’s history and the stories behind its walls. It’s recommended to check the official website or contact the castle for the latest information on opening hours, admission fees, and special events.

A Cultural Treasure

Enniskillen Castle is more than a historical site; it’s a cultural treasure that offers a captivating window into the past and the heritage of County Fermanagh. Whether you’re interested in the military history of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the rich heritage of the region, or simply wish to appreciate the architectural grandeur of a centuries-old castle, a visit to 

Enniskillen Castle is an enriching experience. It’s a place where history, architecture, and cultural preservation come together, allowing visitors to connect with the profound stories that have shaped County Fermanagh and Northern Ireland as a whole.

On view at Enniskillen Castle are the Heritage Centre, the Castle Keep, Watergate and the Arcaded Barracks.

The Heritage Centre:

Award winning displays and special exhibition programme
Audio visual theatre with induction loop for the partially deaf
Gift and book shop; literature in several languages
Children’s activity corner
Refreshments
Adjacent carpark; access and toilet for wheelchair user

The Castle Keep: in origin a 15th century Maguire stronghold, later a military barracks, now housing:

The Museum of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with displays spanning the history of the famous regiment from 1689 to 1968
Displays about the castle

The Watergate: a twin-turreted building added to the outer walls of the castle in the early 17th century.

The Arcaded Barracks: displays focusing on Fermanagh’s archaeological and historic monuments.

The turrets of the 17th century Watergate at Enniskillen Castle provide an iconic image of Enniskillen Town.

Nestled amid Fermanagh’s Lakelands on the banks of the picturesque River Erne you will find Enniskillen Castle. This fine castle, once the home of the Gaelic Maguire chieftains, represents an important part of Fermanagh’s rich history and heritage.

Enniskillen Castle presents an array of 19th century barracks buildings surrounding the Medieval Castle Keep; to the south with its distinctive turrets is the 17th century Watergate and to the east is the Heritage Centre built in 1992.

Throughout the 16th century the junior branch of the Maguires ruled Fermanagh from Enniskillen Castle, their stronghold being captured and retaken many times by the O’Donnells, O’Neills and the English.

The Heritage Centre exhibits the collections of the County Museum in award winning displays enhanced by audio visual programmes about Fermanagh’s history, wildlife and landscapes. There are also special exhibitions throughout the year.

Enniskillen Castle

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