Tully castle, on a beautiful spot overlooking Lower Lough Erne, was built by Sir John Hume around 1613. The structure is T-shaped in plan comprising a main rectangular block with a square project slightly to the east of centre on the south side. The ground floor of the main block has a semi-circular barrel vault. What makes this castle interesting is the fact that while the overall style is very much Scottish, in the masonry details it is possible to discern Irish hands at work. It seems that Hume did not have Scottish masons available and so employed Irish craftsmen instead.
In October 1641 an uprising began in Ulster led by some of the leading figures in the Irish community in the province. On Christmas Eve 1641 the castle and its inhabitants surrendered to Rory Maguire, one of the leaders of the insurrection. Most of the settlers were afterwards massacred and it does not appear that the castle was lived in after this. In front of the castle a 17th-century style garden has been recreated. An abandoned farmhouse has been restored as a visitor centre and contains an exhibition telling local stories relating to the castle.
Tully Castle, Loughshore Road, Tully, Derrygonnelly, County Fermanagh, BT93 6HP
Northern Ireland Environment Agency www.doeni.gov.uk/niea
Telephone: 028 9054 3159
Open 24 hours.