Portora Castle

Portora Castle guards a former crossing point where the river joins Lough Erne. Built in 1613 by Sir William Cole, it consisted of a 3 storey house enclosed with a defensive bawn, the wall of which was equipped with 4 circular towers to add further protection.

The house was let to Bishop Spottiswood, Bishop of Clogher until 1629 and thereafter was occupied by the Coles until 1764. The castle had an important military role in the 1641 rising and again in 1688, it withstood these sieges without damage, but finally fell to boys of Portora School playing with homemade explosives in 1859 and was further damaged in the great gale of 1894.

The two tall round towers to the north and west were part of the house, which occupied this side of the bawn. They have splayed gun-loops for defence and there are traces of fireplaces in the house.

Source and image credit: Communities NI