Tombricane Castle

This castle or tower house as it should be called is built on rising ground beside the main road between Borrisokane and Ballinderry. The thickness of the walls is 7ft 8in and it measures 43ft x 33ft on the outside. The highest point of the ruin measures 80ft. It contained four storeys, the fourth story resting on a stone arch. The stone spiral staircase ran from the southeast corner to the top. A sentry box stood at the north west  corner. On the south wall are seven openings long and narrow.

In the Downe Survey of 1646 Tombricane is entered as belonging to Rory and William O’ Kennedy. In the inquisition of the O’ Kennedy’s taken by the government in the reign of James I, 1603 – 1625, is the following:”Owen O’Kennedy of Ballycollyton rebelled with Redmond Burke and was slain at Tombricane on June 24 in the 42nd year of Elizabeth 1600 A.D. This happened during the great rebellion of O’Neill. The native population were treated barbarously during the reign of Elizabeth. “Exterminate the Irish” was the avowed object and wish of the English as expressed by Essex. It was realised that this could not be done by the fighting battles and the plan was devised of destroying the crops of the country and of hunting people as wild animals without distinction of age or sex. The soldiers proved their work and received their bounty by bringing back to camp the heads of the Irish in bags. This was the time when the whistle of the Ploughboy wasn’t heard in  Munster and the people lived on roots and wild fruits. One can be pretty sure that the people of this area were treated no differently. The encounter of the siege at Tombricane was an accident of this rebellion. Tombricane with 743 profitable acres of land was disposed of to the Duke of Ormond under the Downe Survey, in the 17th Century.