The Norman, Hugh de Lacy, built the original Black Castle in 1180 to protect the trade route along the river Barrow. Later a Carmelite friary was founded to care for the area between 1260 and 1270.
The Black Castle remains seen here are from the 14th and 16th century. A tower was erected at the same time as the bridge across the river (1320) to provide some protection to the friary. In 1547, Sir Edward Bellingham had to rebuild the tower and surrounding bawn wall.
Black Castle has passed through many hands, Kavanaghs, Butlers, Sir Peter Carew, and the Bagenals. It was destroyed in 1577 and then rebuilt only to later be taken by Cromwell. One corner collapsed in 1888.
The Barrow river was a great method of travel due to it's length. There are now cruises available from Leighlinbridge that would make a great trip. Barrowline Cruisers
above: Leighlin bridge
right: Front side