Although the origins and history of Harry Avery’s Castle are uncertain, this unique building is a rare example of a stone castle built by a Gaelic Irish chief – who rarely built stone castles. Although it’s believed to have been built by a local chieftain of the O’Neill clan, the fortress is associated with Henry Aimhréidh O’Neill (anglicised to “Harry Avery”), who died in 1392.
The ruins of the castle, a two-storey rectangular construction fronted by massive D-shaped twin towers, stand on a low hill that has been artificially steepened to form a mound. The mound was ringed by a curtain wall, most of which does not survive. Other surviving structures include: a draw bar slot for the main door and a latrine chute. Examination of the structure suggests that it was built in a single phase, perhaps inspired by Norman castles such as Carrickfergus Castle.
The Annals of the Four Masters record the death of Harry Avery in 1392 and praise his justice, nobility, and hospitality. However, there are no historical records of this site.
The remains of the castle are a State Care Monument under the guardianship of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
Visit Harry Avery's Castle
Accessible all year round.
Strabane, Omagh BT78 4HX
(028) 9082 3207
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