Dysert O'Dea Castle

The Clare Archaeology Centre

Dysert O'Dea Castle

Welcome

Welcome to the Clare Archaeology Centre. Allow us to provide an overview of what's on offer, and illustrate why a visit to Dysert O’Dea Castle—and the surrounding 25 original archaeological field monuments are a must-see on any visit to County Clare.

PhotoCastleSm

The Castle

The authentically restored 15th century Dysert O’Dea castle was the stronghold of the O’Dea clan. It is now home to The Clare Archaeology Centre, opened in July 1986, and has been the recipient of numerous national awards.

The Castle was built in 1480 by Diarmuid O’Dea, Lord of Cineal Fearmaic. The uppermost floors and staircase were badly damaged by the Cromwellians in 1651. Repaired and re-opened in 1986, the castle houses an extensive museum, an audio-visual presentation, and various exhibitions.

The old castle contains ten rooms over four floors, housing the following facilities for visitors:

Facilities

The centre is a restored 15th century Gaelic Tower House. It includes an extensive Museum, Book Shop, Tea Room, Toilets, Car Park, an Audiovisual Presentation (in both English and German), Exhibition Rooms (varied), and an exciting Wall Walk at top of the castle.

Also on-site are 25 other monuments which you can explore at your leisure by choosing either of two walking trails.

  • Parking

    Free car/coach Parking & Toilets

  • Relax

    at our Tea Rooms and Book Shop

  • Chapel

    Visit the Chapel

  • History Room

    Covering 1700AD to 2000AD

  • Museum

    Local artefacts, 1000BC - 1700AD

  • Audio

    Visual presentation: Local Archaeology

  • Medieval

    Masons' & Carpenters' Workshops

  • Walking Routes

    Walks to visit surrounding monuments

The centre is a restored 15th century Gaelic Tower House. It includes an extensive Museum, Book Shop, Tea Room, toilets, car park, an Audiovisual Presentation (in both English and German), exhibition rooms (varied), and an exciting Wall Walk at top of the castle.

 

Also on-site are 25 other monuments which you can explore at your leisure by choosing either of two walking trails.

The Church

Dysert O’Dea Church dates mainly from the 12th century and stands on the site of an early Christian monastery.

Its most famous feature is the Romanesque Doorway. One of the more prominent features of the church is the remains of the Round Tower,  standing on the building’s north-west corner. The High Cross, west of the church, dates from 12th century and is one of the finest examples of its kind in Ireland.

Archaeology Trail

Surrounding the castle is the Dysert O’Dea Archaeology Trail (4km) containing 25 original field monuments. The trail can be walked or driven, and is open all year round. A guide is available at the Souvenir Shop.

The monuments span dates from 1000BC to 1850AD, including two Romanesque Churches, the famous 12th Century Illuminated Doorway and High Cross of Dysert O’Dea, two 15th Century Tower Houses, 1st Millennium Stone and Earthen Forts, Holy Wells, Fulachta Fiadh (ancient cooking places), Proselytising Schools, Landlords’ Houses, medieval roads, and  more. These are shown and explained on the Guide and Map available at the Castle.

Celtic Symbol

Walking Trails

There are two walking trails around the various monuments:

Short (300m)
This walk encompasses:

  • Illuminated High Cross (12th Century)
  • Abbey Ruins with elaborate Romanesque Doorway (12th Century)
  • Round Tower (12th Century)
  • Sacred Well
  • Medieval Graveyard

Long (5km)
This walk encompasses:

  • Rath Castle (15th Century, ruins)
  • Rath Bláthmhaic (Medieval Earthen Fort)
  • Cathair Mhic Gormáin (Medieval Stone Fort)
  • Cathair Mhic Eoghain (Medieval Stone Fort)
  • St. Tola's Well
  • Proselytising School (ruined 1823)
Celtic Symbol

The High Cross

The High Cross, situated east of the church, dates from the 12th century and is one of the finest examples of its kind in Ireland.

The Archaeology/History Trail features 25 sites, all within a few kilometres' radius of the castle. A guide is available at the souvenir shop.

Opening Times

Due to COVID guidelines and with respect to Government guidelines, the castle will remain closed for the immediate future. We will update this page with information as it become available.
Last updated: May 17, 2021

Admission Fees
Adult €7
Child €3
Family (2 Adults & up to 3 Children) €20
Students / Senior Citizens €5
Concession €5
Groups €5 (each)
Celtic Symbol

Visitor Reviews

Craig Leduc

Our family dropped in by chance and very much enjoyed our tour of the castle, the ruins, and a cup of tea afterward

Chris Neilsen

great castle and a real authentic feeling not a tourist trap. The history behind this castle is phenomenal - best kept secret in Ireland! the manager was very informative and passionate about his ties to the castle 5 star experience...a must do if you are in the area ...the signage could be improved to the castle but once there well worth it

Joe Maher

One of many sites we visited in Clare over a couple of days. Lovely site to visit for the history

Andrew Day

Been here several times. Highly recommend the castle and the walks!

Phil Burton

Brilliant afternoon spent with a group of musicians. The people of the castle and the surrounding area were wonderful

Celtic Symbol

Local Amenities

Celtic Symbol

Contact Us

Invalid Email

International Tel: +353 65 683 7401
National Tel: 065 683 7401
E-mail: info@dysert.ie

Dysert O’Dea Castle & Clare Archaeology Centre,
Corofin,
County Clare,
V95 A294,
Ireland


For information and tours from October to April, contact Tommy Moloney on the email address above or the following telephone number:

International Tel: +353 86 378 2372
National Tel: 086 378 2372

How to find us

Located at the gateway to the Burren Region, 5 kms south of Corofin, and 11 kms north of Ennis.
If approaching from Ennis (N85) take a right for Corofin (R476). After 6 kms (4 miles) take a left at a crossroads. As you travel down this road, follow the signposts to take a right to bring you to the centre.

Free Coach and Car parking on the grounds.

Government of Ireland | Project Ireland 2040 logo
Map
Scroll to Top