Surrounded by seven acres of lawns, park and woodland, Carraigin Castle is a holiday home in a scenic setting on the shores of Lough Corrib. From the castle, visitors can avail of boating and fishing, walking, riding and sightseeing. Alternatively they can relax by the open hearth and contemplate the simple grandeur of this ancient dwelling, an example of a fortified, medieval hall house.
This authentic 13th century manor house has been restored by the present owner after more than two centuries as a roofless ruin. Carraigin's church like structure sits on a rise, reached by an avenue across the tree-lined pleasure ground. The ancient looking, nail studded front door on the ground floor, often mistaken for an authentic antiquity, was actually made by the owner during the building's restoration in the 1970s. Round the corner, an imposing stone staircase leads to another grand entrance, into the lofty, oak beamed Great Hall featuring a wide, stone arched fireplace that provides an aroma of turf and wood smoke.
The Great Hall is the central living and dining area of the castle. It features a mix of old oak and modern furniture surrounding the hearth. Its white walls are extensively decorated with tapestries, brass rubbing portraits of ancient kings and knights and a magnificent triptych featuring a Galway galleon. There is a tiny but well equipped kitchen next door.
On the same level as the hall is an oak beamed double bedroom with a king size bed and bathroom. A stone staircase winds upwards over this master bedroom to a gallery room overlooking the Great Hall. Another winding stairs leads up to a little single bedroom in the corner tower which is available only in the summer. From both of these second floor rooms you can stroll out onto the castle parapets with views of Lough Corrib and the hills of Connemara and Mayo.
Visitors can also sleep in the four cosy 'Vaults' on the ground floor below. The Vaults have much picturesque charm with their oak timbered partitions, arches and vaulted ceilings and they work if you know each other well as the rooms lead one into the other. Vault I, the largest of the four, sleeps two in bunk beds and features a work table and chairs for busy teenagers and a mini sofa for one or two in the window embrasure. Vault II has a double bed and a similar window seat. Vault III has one double and one single bed and a window seat. Vault III in turn gives access to Vault IV, a small single room with a three light gothic window looking out onto the lawn.