Enniskillen Castle Museums, Co.Fermanagh
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Historic castle overlooking Lough Erne and offering a rich programme of events and exhibitions.
Enniskillen Castle which was once the stronghold of the Gaelic Maguire chieftains is situated beside Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
Built almost 600 years ago, the castle's history is traced from its beginnings as a Maguire castle until its use as a barracks in the 1700s and 1800s. Hugh ‘The Hospitable’ Maguire, the man responsible for building the castle was the younger brother of the leading chieftain at the time, King Thomas Maguire (Thomas the Great).
Neighbouring clans including the O’Rourke’s and O’Donnell’s posed particular threats to the Maguires and the castle in its original form was a small square tower-house, and guarded one of the few passes into Ulster and defended Fermanagh from attack.
In the 17th century it became an English garrison fort and later served as part of a military barracks.
This historic site houses two museums, Fermanagh County Museum and The Inniskillings Museum (www.inniskillingsmuseum.com)
Fermanagh County Museum has award-winning exhibitions including 'Country People, Country Places: 'The Making of a Landscape', which gives an insight into Fermanagh's natural history, archaeology and rural lifestyle. Visitors can also watch a short film on Enniskillen called ‘Enniskillen Today and Tomorrow’ which is the story of the market town, told through memories of local people.
Other local castles to visit include Tully Castle and Castle Archdale.
A painting commissioned by Canon O'Reilly of St Michael's Church, Enniskillen, to commemorate the visit by Queen Elizabeth II to the town in 2012, has gone on public display at Fermanagh County Museum. It was painted by Belfast born artist, Hector McDonnell.
The painting, entitled 'The Queen's Visit', depicts the moment that the Queen crossed the street to visit St. Michael's Catholic Church after attending a service in St. Macartin's Church of Ireland Cathedral in Enniskillen on 26 June 2012 as part of her two-day Diamond Jubilee tour of Northern Ireland.