Parke's castle is situated in an idyllic location on the shores of Lough Gill in County Leitrim. Originally, it all started with a tower house. It's foundation can still be seen in the courtyard.
When the Spanish Armada was shipwrecked at grange, captain Francisco de Cuellar was given refuge at O'Rourke's castle. Eventually, he returned back to Spain and wrote about O'Rourke's hospitality. When the English found out, they sent forces to destroy the tower , captured O'Rourke and executed him.
Afterwards, the tower was demolished by captain Robert Parke who used the stone to built a 3 storey fortified manor house.
The castle was lovingly restored by the OPW and showcases an amazing Irish Oak roof using techniques of the 17th Century. There is also a family room showcasing on how Robert Parke would have lived.
There is a museum showcasing vernacular buildings of the North West and the displays give a great insight on how the people used to live in rural Ireland.
In the yard, you can find stone buildings, one of them being transformed into a blacksmith, one turned into toilets,... There is also a waterwell and within the gardens close to the shore of Lough Gill, there is a small sweathouse.
The Castle is worth a visit and will keep the kids occupied. The views across Lough Gill are amazing, that is when it is a clear day.