Reputedly a McCarthy Stronghold and known locally as Ballinskelligs Castle, this tower house, possibly 16th century in date, is positioned on an isthmus stretching out into Ballinskelligs bay on its western shoreline. The McCarthy’s were the Chieftians in Cork and Kerry in the 16th century. It is prominently located and it is in a relatively good state of preservation. A more romantic version of its history is that it was built much earlier, during the l2th and 13th century when battles were taking place between the Gaelic King of Desmond, McCarthy Mór who ruled South Kerry and the Geraldine Earl of Desmond, who ruled North Kerry.
Legend holds that it was constructed to defend the bay from pirates and aspects of its architecture, namely defensive elements such as a battered base, narrow window opes and a murder hole’, in addition to its geographical location may add credence to this. Excavations on the South side have indicated traces of two lean-to structures both of which post-dated the primary period of occupation of the Castle, ” which is thought to have been a fish curing operation. Most of the finds on the site were of post-Medieval date. It has also been identified as the Manor which the Sigerson family occupied in the early 17th Century.