The CSG’s 32nd Annual Conference 2018

Castles of South Munster - based at Cork, Ireland

Thursday  April 26th  -  Sunday April 29th 2018

The conference will be based at Rochestown Park Hotel, Rochestown Road, Douglas, Cork. The hotel, which is situated in the southern outskirts of Cork City, close to the shore of Lough Mahon (inner Cork Harbour) and only fifteen minutes by road from Cork Airport.

The journey from Dublin Airport by car takes 2 hours and 45 minutes using the motorway system (M1, M50, M7 and M8) and the N40 bypass east and south of Cork City. There are direct trains, on the hour from 7am Monday to Saturday, from Dublin Heuston Station to Cork Kent Station, a journey of 2 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes, from where it is a 15-minute taxi ride to the hotel. But you would also have to get from the airport to Heuston Station by bus or taxi. On Sundays, trains depart Cork Kent Station at 20 minutes past alternate hours from 8:20am. Tickets are usually cheaper when booked online at

There are also direct coaches run by various operators from Dublin Airport to the centre of Cork City, the journey taking between 3 hours and 3 hours 45 minutes.

The conference aims to allow members to examine a broad range of castles across west County Waterford and in south and mid-County Cork, in the picturesque south of Ireland. These will range from a single motte to some impressive late twelfth to early thirteenth century Anglo-Norman stone castles; from late thirteenth century stone enclosure castles to latest fourteenth to fifteenth century tower houses and bawns; and to a pair of majestic latest sixteenth to early seventeenth century fortified houses. Evening lectures will place some or all of these castles into their regional context.

Subject to some final confirmations, the provisional itinerary will be much as follows:

For those arriving early on Thursday 26th conference will use the afternoon to visit the major late-fifteenth to early sixteenth-century Gaelic Irish tower house at Blarney, famous for its Blarney Stone, the kissing of which while hanging precariously from the parapet is supposed to impart the gift of eloquence (such as “Aaargh?”)!

Friday 27th will see conference visit a number of castles in west County Waterford and east County Cork. In the morning conference will inspect Gallows Hill Motte in Dungarvan and the early thirteenth century stone castles of Mocollop, almost completely unknown to date, and Dungarvan, a significant royal castle. The afternoon will see conference briefly visit an early thirteenth century circular stone donjon at Inchiquin before finishing at the major early fifteenth century Anglo-Norman tower-house at Barryscourt, outside Cork, and its recently excavated bawn.

On Saturday 28th, conference will visit a number of castles in mid-County Cork. First in the morning will be Glanworth Castle with its early thirteenth century hall-keep and gatehouse, much modified later, an earlier hall, and later bawn structures. This will be followed by visits to two late thirteenth century enclosure castles with circular towers at Kilbolane and Liscarroll. In the afternoon, conference will visit the very fine latest sixteenth to early seventeenth century fortified houses at Kanturk and Mallow.

As is customary, there will be lectures on Thursday and Friday evenings in the hotel after dinner and the CSG Annual General Meeting will convene on Saturday evening, also in the hotel after dinner.

For those able to stay on through the morning of Sunday 29th conference will visit two more fifteenth century tower houses in County Cork, in the Lea valley west of the city: Carrigadrohid, picturesquely sited at the midpoint of a bridge over the river Lea; and Kilcrea with its towered bawn. At this last site, an alternative, or brief additional, visit could be made to the adjacent Franciscan friary.

The fully inclusive cost of the conference is expected to be around 465 Euro per person for single room occupancy and 375 Euro per person sharing a twin or double room. At present the organisers are not planning to limit numbers. For more information, contact either of the organisers: Dan Tietzsch-Tyler at or Brian Hodkinson at The booking form can be downloaded here

Select Bibliography

Published sites (other than National Monuments Service pamphlets):

James Lyttleton, Blarney Castle (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011)

Conleth Manning, The History and Archaeology of Glanworth Castle, Co. Cork: Excavations 1982–4, Archaeological Monograph Series: 11 (Dublin: Stationery Office, 2009)

Dave Pollock, Medieval Dungarvan, above and below ground (Stradbally: Archaeografix, 2013)

Dave Pollock, Barryscourt Castle, Co. Cork: Archaeology, History and Architecture, Archaeological Monograph Series: 11 (Dublin: National Monuments Service, 2017)


Mike Salter, The Castles of South Munster (Malvern: Folly Publications, 2004)

There are also articles either published or awaiting publication on Mocollop Castle (in press) and Liscarroll Castle, and shorter references in more general books on the other sites.

Dungarvan Castle, Co Waterford.

© 2018 Castles Studies Group.