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County Kildare History and Heritage

Oughterard Round Tower and Cemetery

The castle is a rectangular tower, with four floors. It is set into the side of the ridge and has beautiful views of the Wicklow Mountains. It is known that Oughterard was the site of an important Anglo-Norman manor, but there are no references to the castle here until 1636.

Oughterard Round Tower, Picture Coutesy of

The parish church was granted to St. Thomas’ Abbey, Dublin before 1189 and stayed in their possession for the next 400 years.

In 1540 it was said to be in need of repair and in 1576 it was being leased to Sir Henry Ratcliff. In 1596 it was granted to Richard Hardings.

The site is a National Monument; it includes a castle dating from 1636 and church from circa 1189.

The church on the site houses vaults belonging to Arthur Guinness, founder of the Guinness brewing family, and the Ponsonby family, who lived in nearby Bishopscourt.

Location Between Kill and Straffan.

Oughterard Round Tower & Cemetery. Picture courtesy of