Ballymore Castle, County Galway
Ballymore Castle was built by John Lawrence in 1585 on land he acquired through his marriage to the daughter of O’Madden, Lord of Longford. John and his brother Walter had come to Ireland in 1571 to help Sir John Perrott suppress the Desmond Rebellion. It was the beginning of an association with the area which lasted over 300 years.
Through his marriage, he acquired a large amount of land in the barony of Longford and the O’Madden Vault at St. Brendan’s Cathedral, Clonfert (which cannot now be identified).
The castle was damaged in subsequent wars and repaired by John Lawrence’s son Walter in 1620. The family were forced to leave Ballymore when John Lawrence Jnr. was dispossessed by Cromwell in 1641. His entire estate was seized, although later they were restored to Bellevue (Lisreaghan) and the village of Lawrencetown was founded. Later, the castle was given to Sir Thomas Newcomen, who leased it back to the Lawrence’s for many years. On his death, it passed to Nicholas Cusack of Cushinstown, Co. Meath, who sold it to John Eyre of Eyrecourt about 1720. The Seymour Family also lived in the castle around 1700.
Ballymore Castle was modernised and a large two-storey house was added in 1815. The wide-eaved, bow-fronted house is built against the front of the old tower house.
Thomas Seymour purchased the castle and lands outright from Giles Eyre around 1824. This family were to remain in possession of the castle until the early part of the last century. Mrs. Hale, a relative of the Seymour’s, inherited the estate, which was somewhat reduced at this time, a large portion having been acquired by the Irish Land Commission. She leased the Castle to a Smith family and in 1948 it was leased to Major Belassy. The Naughton family bought the estate and the house is the private family home to this day. (Source: Echoes)
For information about nearby Lawrence Town click here.