Manor at Annaghkeen Castle

This image was taken at Annaghkeen at the eastern shore of Lough Corrib near Headford in Co. Galway in 2007.

The ruins of an early 19th century manor house stand in an open field between Annaghkeen Castle and shores of Lough Corrib. The house is described as a three bay, three storey gable ended manor house with half hexagon central bay. Annaghkeen Castle can be seen in the background of the photograph.  Annaghkeen Castle is a late 13th century hall-house and is thought to be the oldest example in Ireland of a castle built entirely from undressed stone. It was built by the Norman DeBurgos family along with the nearby Cargin Castle to defend the Manor of Headford from incursions across Lough Corrib by the rival O'Flaherty clan.

The DeBurgos or 'Burkes' became more completely Hibernicised than any other Norman family in Ireland. They proclaimed themselves chiefs in the old Irish fashion and adopted Brehon Law, an indigenous system of law dating from Celtic times. Their long running feud with the O'Flaherty clan stems from the DeBurgos arrival in Galway when they disposed the O'Flaherty's of their lands and then tried to lease these lands them back to them. When no rent was paid one of the DeBurgo family was sent to the O'Flaherty stronghold at Aughanure Castle in Oughterard to collect payment.

When he arrived at the castle the O'Flahertys were holding a banquet and he was invited to join them. The DeBurgo man enjoyed the hospitality and during the feasting he mentioned the rent at which point an O'Flaherty pressed down on a concealed flagstone which hurled DeBurgo into the river. Living up to their name as the 'Ferocious O'Flaherties', they then cut off his head and sent it back to the remaining DeBurgos, describing it as "O'Flaherty's rent".

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© Ciaran McHugh Photography 2009-2017, by Sea Design