A little piece of history
According to the chronicler O’Donovan, “In the parish of Kilmaine there are several square Castles said to have been built by the Burkes (de Burgos). Turin Castle and another three, in Cregduff, Elistron and Killernan”. Turin would appear to derive from the old Irish meaning ‘small bleaching field’. Which may suggest that Turin Castle was involved in the very lucrative trade of sheep farming. There was a growing market for hides , meat and wool in continental Europe and by the mid 16th Century Kilmaine politically and economically was the most important barony in the county. In 1574 there were 41 castles in an area of just 10 miles long by eight broad, by far the highest concentration of castles in Connacht, an indication that agriculture was on an industrial scale.
From records we know that Turin Castle had been abandoned for at least two hundred and fifty years up until it’s restoration in 1997 by a local man. We purchased the castle in 2008 at the height of the Celtic Tiger just when the economy went into recession. With many a sleepless night and a huge leap of faith, we took on the refurbishment of the castle. It had never been lived in so was very cold and damp. We set about drying out the castle and planning the interior.
We sourced as much of the materials as we could locally and used local tradesmen to complete the work. We also travelled to Morocco and scoured the internet to find the most authentic, antique furniture to try and create a medieval experience with modern comfort.
We have met the most remarkable and interesting people since we started this project. Thanks to our family and friends who have believed in us on this extraordinary journey. Please have a look at our Instagram or Facebook page (Turin Castle Ireland) for some interesting photos.
We look forward to welcoming you and showing you around our magical little kingdom !
Marnie & Brendan