Moving on to the last of my visits to the many De Bermingham strongholds which are scattered along the Kildare/Offaly border. There are a number of castles and a monastery still in existence in the Kildare and Offaly area, some of which I have posted previously. Carbury Castle and Teampall Do-Ath , Grange Castle, Mac Feorais Castle, Priory of De Laude Dei and Carrick Church are in County Kildare, while Blundell Castle, Kinnefad Castle, Monasteroris Medieval Church & Graveyard and Monasteroris Friary & Castro Petre are in County Offaly. Grange Castle is probably the most modern of all the De Bermingham associated sites I have explored to date. Built in 1460Ad, this 15th century Towerhouse is quite remarkable. Over the years there have been many changes and alterations to the castle.Some of its most striking features include its ornate battlements and Jacobean chimneys which are said to have been added in the 17th century. Then there is the Big House which sits to the front of the castle, also known as Fallon Hall.
At some stage during 1735,the then owner of Grange, Walter Bermingham, sold the castle to a Thomas Tyrrell, in whose family the property remained until in 1988. After which the ownership of the tower was handed over to Dúchas (the Office of Public Works) by a Bobby Tyrrell. The rest of the estate passed on to a Hugh Tyrrell whom resides in England. A local group with the support of the owner Hugh Tyrrell came together to create the Tyrrell Trust. Their idea was to restore the Castle and gardens to their former glory as a tourist attraction. However this enterprise for some reason did not work out and the Trust disbanded in 2003.
Grange is quite easy to find and it sits on a rather untidy and overgrown estate. There are a number of out buildings which I would assume were stables and barns as well as a walled garden that surround the Castle, all seem to have undergone some degree of repair work in recent years, but the restoration work stopped after the Tyrrell Trust broke up. On my visit I was unable to gain entry to the tower house as the Door has been locked, but it was possible to enter Fallon Hall. I had a quick look around the old house but there was nothing of interest to be found. It was quite difficult in places to move around the grounds but it was well worth the effort was well worth it. Along with the stunning battlements and Ornate Jacobean style chimneys which can be easily seen, there are a number of interesting things to be found which require a closer look. Firstly to the rear of the castle underneath a stunning window I found what appears to be the remains of a mill-wheel. Now I can only make an estimated guess here but perhaps the inhabitants of Grange Castle did in fact have some form of milling operation perhaps in the 19th century.
The other interesting feature which can be from the front of the Tower is what appears to be a machicolation, this was a common defensive feature found in many castles. It consisted of an opening above the castle entrance which allowed the inhabitants to drop various things on unsuspecting attackers. In conclusion Grange is probably in the best condition out of all the remaining De Bermingham sites, but its such a shame to see it be neglected like it is, when it would take very little to turn this overgrown ruin into something special. Its quiet and peaceful surrounds only add to the charm of the place. If you get a chance I would highly recommend a trip. All sites that I visit are clearly marked with accuracy to Google Street View. You can check out any of these on my Interactive Ruin Map.