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Graystown Castle – Tipperary , An Irish castles

Burnchurch castle 5
All images using a Nikon D200, 18-200 vr 2 lens, iso 100
Burnchurch Castle, County Tipperary
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Graystown Castle- Tipperary

A little time back I blogged about the area of Burnchurch and Graystown, Killenaule, Co Tipperary (70 years of Potato farming), writing then about my in-laws history of farming in this area. At the time I was asked about the castle that was in one of the pictures at the end of the farm, in the distance.

This Old Potato Machine 60 years

The castle is Graystown Castle- Tipperary and it has stood in this area since 1654.

This is the best article I can find on the internet :

Graystown Castle

Burnchurch castle 2

An old castle stands in ruins on the road from Moyglass to Graystown and it is called Graystown Castle. It is mentioned in Gough’s Camden as being in ruins and situated near Killynaul. It is built on a limestone rock of considerable height on west and north sides and sustaining on one extremely the north-west angle of the building.

The original castle was probably built around 1170, by a man named Raymond Le Gros who was a Norman. From the word ‘Gros’ we got we get the name Graystown or Baile Le Gros as it is known in Irish.
However, the present ruins can hardly be older than the 16th century. It is described in the Civil survey (1654) as follows “Upon this land standeth a good castle, a slate house wantinge repaire with a large bawne and severall cabbins”.

Henry Laffan who was an official of the Butler Family, acquired considerable property in Co. Tipperary at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1305 he got 120 acres in Graystown from Geruase De Raley. This Henry Laffan was said to be the first of the Laffan Family, whose chief seat was in Graystown from then on. In 1521, Thomas Laffan, Lord of Ballingarry, granted to the Earl of Ormonde, the land of Ballinure. He was probably dead before 1524, in which year James Laffan of Graystown was one of the freeholders of Tipperary, who complained to King Henry VIII of the extortions, coyne and livery levied on them by Sir James Butler of Kiltinan and Sir Edmond Butler of Cahir as dupties of the Earl of Ormonde. James Laffan died in 1607.

In 1613, Thomas Laffan of Graystown was a member of Parliament for Tipperary. The proprietor of Graystown and Noan, 3200 acres in 1640, was Henry Laffan of Graystown while Marcus Laffan, his son, apparently held the remainder of the family property in Lurgoe, 640 acres. Henry was dead before 1649, for Marcus was found in Graystown in that year and was a Commissioner for the levying of troops and taxes in Slieveardagh. Marcus was transplanted to Connaught where he was alotted 1184 acres.

The Cromwellian grantee of Graystown was Gyles Cooke. He held the title of the area in 1659 and had two hearths there in 1665 (Petty Cenus Money Records).


So here it stands today, sitting at the end of a valley in this wonderfully peaceful landscape.

Graystown Castle – Gallery

Burnchurch castle 3

Burnchurch castle 1

Burnchurch castle 2

Burnchurch castle 4

6 responses

  1. Lovely images, Nigel. Thank you for taking and sharing them :-). You really get a sense of scale in that last shot with the door and those narrow windows. A beautiful vista of farmland in the distance as well. 🙂

    July 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    • Hello Sharon 🙂

      Thank you ….

      Yes it looks average size until you get to that doorway and look down the rock’s below, the place must have been very impressive when it was all standing and lived in.

      Thank Sharon 🙂

      July 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

  2. artscottnet

    Hello Nigel. Beautiful landscapes, captured expertly of course, and fascinating history. I could spend days looking at the castles, hoping to be transported 500 years for just a short while. Thank you for sharing.

    July 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    • Hello Scott

      Thank you for such great feedback on this post, Yes I feel very much the same when visiting these locations 🙂

      Thank’s Scott

      July 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

  3. 1annecasey

    You have really captured the drama of these locations Nigel.

    August 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    • Hello Anne 🙂

      Thank you and very pleased you like this image 🙂

      August 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm

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