We hand-picked 17 great aerial photos of Irish Castles shot by drone flyers!
Showcasing stunning drone images sourced through Instagram we bring you the magic of ancient Ireland.
Aerial photography really comes into its own when you see ancient Irish Castles from a drone perspective.
Structures viewed from above highlight the extraordinary craftsmanship of these ancient architects and stone masons.
It is possible to trace Irish history through the ancient ring forts and castles found in every county in Ireland. They are relics of over 6,000 years of invasions and occupations dating back to Megalithic times when the Celts arrived in Ireland from Europe. Following the Celts, there were multiple invasions by the Vikings, the Normans and the English. The Romans never got to Ireland so don’t expect to find any Roman ruins!
Many of the castles are in ruins like Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim and Duckett’s Grove in Co. Carlow, but some are still very much in use such as the castle at Blackrock, Co Cork or Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare.
Some of Ireland’s Castles have been used in movies and tv shows. The ruin of Dunluce was deemed the perfect location in Game of Thrones as the home of House Greyjoy of Pyke who rule over the Iron Islands and Trim Castle was used in Braveheart, in place of York, England.
We include a map showing you where the castles listed can be found. If you want to visit them or any other castle in Ireland, check out Ireland’s Visitor Castles.
There are over 30,000 Irish Castles but far less aerial photographs of these magnificent structures! I also found lots of side-on views of really cool castles, but nothing overhead.
So Drone Flyers, how about some more amazing aerial shots of Irish castles? Send us your Instagram photo and we will add it to this collection!
Thanks to all the drone flyers who contributed to this piece!
Map of Aerial Photos Of Irish Castles
List of Aerial Photos of Irish Castles
- First view of Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim.
- Second view of Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim.
- Glenveagh Castle, Co. Donegal.
- Ruins of Raphoe Castle, Co. Donegal
- Remnants of Downhill Castle, Co. Derry.
- Duckett’s Grove, Co. Carlow.
- Castle Tower Aerial View, Duckett’s Grove, Co. Carlow
- Rathgall Hillfort, Co. Wicklow.
- Duncannon Fort, Co. Wexford.
- Lismore Castle, Co. Waterford.
- Blackrock Castle & Observatory, Co. Cork.
- Trim Castle, Co. Meath.
- Doe Castle, Co. Donegal.
- Kilkenny Castle, Co. Kilkenny.
- Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare.
- Fota Castle, Co. Cork.
- Athlumney Castle, Navan, Co. Meath.
Dunluce Castle, Co. Antrim, is a ruined medieval castle which has a fantastic location perched on the edge of a basalt outcropping. It is accessible by a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle has very steep drops all around it which might be why early Christians built their fort here. Game of Thrones Fans will know Dunluce Castle as the home of House Greyjoy of Pyke who rule over the Iron Islands.
Paul (paulmcmenaminpics on Instagram) has given us the next three castle shots. I love the ‘directly above the castle’ shots!
Glenveagh Castle, Co. Donegal is relatively new as castles go, built between 1870 and 1873. Constructed in the Scottish Baronial style, it consists of a four story rectangular keep surrounded by the garden. It was built in a stunning part of Donegal which has since been turned into Glenveagh National Park.
Ruins of Raphoe Castle, Co. Donegal. The castle at Raphoe was built in 1630s for the Church of Ireland Lord Bishop of Raphoe with stone from a ruined round tower on this site. The Irish rebellion of 1641 laid siege to the castle. It was also besieged during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland.
Remnants of Downhill Castle in Co. Derry. Building began on Downhill in 1770 for the 4th Earl of Bristol. A large fire destroyed the building in 1851 which was rebuilt in the 1870’s. It was used to billet RAF servicemen and women during WW2 after which it fell into disrepair.
Duckett’s Grove, in Co. Carlow, was built originally in 1818 as a Georgian Country house but was redesigned in a castellated Gothic revival style in 1830. Sadly the last remaining heiress Maria Georgina Duckett disinherited her daughter leaving her the ‘Angry Shilling’ upon her death. Duckett’s Grove was destroyed by a fire in April 1933.
Love this shot taken directly over one of the castle towers.
Rathgall Hillfort is the splendid remains of an ancient fort in Co. Wicklow. It is a large multivallate hill fort near the town of Shillelagh. It dates back to the Bronze Age.
Legend has it that there has been a fort at Duncannon, Co. Wexford dating back to the time of the Fianna (3rd Century AD) and Fionn MacCumhaill. It was always seen to be of vital strategic importance as it commanded the bay giving sea access to Waterford Harbour. The “modern” fort was built in 1558 in the expectation of an attack on the area by the Spanish Armada. It is a partial star shaped fort on the sides not facing the cliff face.
There has been a castle at Lismore, Co. Waterford, ever since 1185 when Prince John built a “castellum” on the site. When John became King of England he handed the Castle over to the Church and it was used as a Bishop’s Palace until 1589. The earliest remaining part of the Castle is a round tower, which dates back to the 13th Century. In 1589 the Castle was leased and later bought outright by Sir Walter Raleigh.
The next two castles have been brought to us by instagrammer: quad_shots_ireland (Kieran).
Blackrock Castle & Observatory, Co. Cork. Construction began on a fort at Blackrock in 1582 following an appeal by the citizens of Cork to Queen Elizabeth I for a stronghold to repel pirates. The circular tower remains today from this period.
Trim Castle, Co Meath is the largest Norman Castle ever built in Ireland. Over a period of 30 years, it was built by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter to be the center of the Lordship of Meath.
Natasha Donaghey (known as bfmvtasha on instagram) gives us the following image of Doe Castle:
Doe Castle (Caisleán na dTuath in Irish) can be found on a small peninsula in Co. Donegal. The castle is surrounded by water on three sides with a moat cut into the rock on the landward side. It was originally a stronghold of Clan Sweeney (Clan Suibhne in Irish) and was built in the 16th Century. It was here that Owen Roe O’Neill came in 1642 to lead the Ulster Army during the civil unrest within Ireland, England and Scotland between 1639 and 1651.
Instagrammer overclouds_production brings us this next aerial of one of the most visited castles in Ireland.
Kilkenny Castle Co. Kilkenny was built in 1195 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and it controlled access to a fording-point of the River Nore. It is magnificently maintained and well worth a visit.
Our next castle is by Padraig McGrath (known on Instagram as drone_views_ireland )
Dromoland Castle, in Co. Clare, is now a 5-star luxury hotel. The guts of the present building were completed in 1835 but there has been a castle here since the 15th century.
Back to Cork for our next castle by Vincent Moschetti Photographer (known on Instagram as dronexpert):
Fota Castle is a Tudor Gothic Revival Folly Castle on the edge of Fota House and Gardens in County Cork. Designed by Cork architect John Hargrave for John Smith-Barry who lived in Fota House. It was used as a holiday home by the Smith-Barrys. It is privately owned and is not open to the public.
Our final castle comes from Shane Forde (known on Instagram as shaneforde2016):
Lord of Athlumney began to build a Castle in Athlumney, Co. Meath in the 1400s. The oldest part of the castle, a tower house, was begun at this time. A 3-storey manor house with widely spaced mullioned windows was added in the late 16th century.
Do you have aerial photos of Irish castles on your Instagram profile? Leave a comment or get in touch with us and we will be glad to add it to this post.
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