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An impressive tower-house of the sixteenth century, with later additions and given a bawn with flanking round turrets, this is known as Ross Castle and it stands on an isthmus in Lough Leane which also laps the edge of Killarney town. The tower is five stories to the parapet, has box machicolations on two opposing comers and is rectangular in plan, with one shorter wall thicker than the other three, to accommodate small rooms at each level. It was captured by the English in 1652 as a result of a water-borne force attacking it from the lough.
Tine, 16, from Canada, wrote:
Ross castle was really cool! I went there as part of a tour group. We were touring a play around southern Ireland and performing for various theatre groups and stuff. Our play was about the fate of the Franklin Expedition (The really famous one) and one of the characters was James Ross. No connection to the actual castle, but we figured we should go there anyway. The stairs are extremely scary. I almost died going up and down them!!!! They are called triping stairs, those twisty ones. They are designed to the right handed persons advantage going up the stairs. Because if you are going up the stairs backwards fighting off your enemy, then you can hang on to the “railing” (a rope strung up the wall) With your left, and hold your sword with your right. So, the person coming up the stairs can't hang on because they need there right hand to fight. Also, the steps are very small and narrow, and uneven. And the passage gets more narrow as you go up. The bedrooms are really cool, and in one of them, there was this 14th century chest, one of four in the country! (In that time, if they ran out of fire wood, they would burn their furniture) There was this beautiful bed (This is in the king and queen's room) and the children's beds were stored underneath during the day. Those beds were just made of reeds tied together, like the servants beds. They showed us this tiny tiny room, about four people could fit in there at once, but it also had sort of a second level to the room. It was where the servants slept, and the tour guide said 12 servants would sleep there at one time!!!! The dinning room was another highlight of the castle. They showed us the “candle holders”. Candles were only used for banquets, so on regular days for dinner, they had this holder thingy, and it would hold reeds tied together, and they would light both ends of it. (That's where the saying comes from, burning the candle from both ends) Also, there was sort of this balcony, which is where a band sometimes played. The stair case going up was so narrow, if you were even slightly overweight, you would probably get stuck!!! I couldn't even imagine carrying instruments up there! One really interesting thing about that room, and the whole castle, is that the last family who lived there moved, but they still owned the castle. They didn't want to be taxed so much, so they burned off the roof! After that, the castle started to deteriorate, so in the 1950's to the 1970's, and now it look a lot more modern (Electricity, etc.) but now, the dinning room has a really beautiful wooden roof!
Ronny, 26, from Sweden, wrote:
It is a outpost on a half-island in the lake Lough Leane nearby Killarney. It's a very nice castle with a lot of things from the early period of the castle. It was built at 1420, and it was the last post that Cromwells forces siege at 1653.