Ballybur Castle, constructed around 1588 by Richard Comerford, served as a stronghold for the Comerford clan, notable for its relatively peaceful existence despite the era’s turbulence. Designed for defense, the castle was typical of its time, surrounded by temporary structures for farm laborers and livestock.
The Comerford family, influential in the 1500s and 16th century, owned three castles in the area, with Ballybur being the sole survivor. Known for their social prominence and lavish parties, the Comerfords hosted a significant reception for Cardinal Rinnuncini in 1641, where an ornate rosary was presented to them. This rosary was later passed down through generations and eventually donated to Rothe House in 1970.
The last Comerford at Ballybur was John, Richard’s son, who lost the castle to Brian Manseragh during the Cromwellian land redistribution in 1654. Manseragh is an ancestor of Martin Manseragh, a contemporary political figure. The castle’s history is less clear until 1841 when Thomas Deigan was recorded as the occupant. The Marnell sisters, related to the Deigans, lived there until 1979, when Frank and Aifric Gray purchased the castle.
Control Surveys were tasked to undertake a scanner survey of the all property included the Castle to produce plans, sections, elevations with high level of details that the scanner provided.