Belleek Castle has a colourful history with a myriad of fascinating stories, and now you can get a taste of these with a tour of the building and its mesmerising Belleek Castle Museum. The Marshall Doran Collection forms the highlight of the tour – but more about that later!
The Belleek Castle Tour includes an explanation of the origins of the Castle from the time of its building in the early 1800’s, and the history of its former owners, the Knox-Gore family, the Earls of Arran. You will also learn about its last owner, Marshall Doran, a merchant navy officer and an avid collector of fossils and medieval armour, who acquired the property in 1961, restored it and opened it as a hotel in 1970. Marshall, a colourful character as befits the story of the house, was among many other things a master craftsman, and did a lot of the work himself.
In fact, Marshall, who would have been 100 years old in July 2016, built the whole of the Armada Bar – a dramatic recreation of the Captain’s Ward Room from a Spanish Armada Galleon – out of salvaged oak, taken from the wreck of an authentic Spanish Armada ship which floundered in Killala Bay in the 16th century.
The highlight of the Castle tour is without a doubt, The Marshall Doran Collection, which is one of the finest collections of arms and armour, fossils and antiques in Ireland. Curator Brian will talk you through the eclectic collection, and you will also see the Grace O’Malley room (containing the Pirate Queen’s own bed), and the last wolf shot in Connacht.
The castle itself is a friendly, and intimate hotel with 10 bedrooms – more info here.
In the Summer months (May-Sept), the castle is open to the public from 11am. (If the gates are closed, just ring the buzzer!)
In Winter (Oct-April) the castle is open from 2pm. Tours are available 11 am & 2pm in summer, 2pm in winter, but we are happy to cater for you any time by appointment.
Please call in advance to avoid disappointment!
Family ticket €30
(Group discounts available on request)
The Castle will close to general public at 5pm.