Desmond Castle, also known as Adare Castle, is located just outside Adare. The castle is probably built in the twelfth century by William de Burgo, but there is evidence of an ancient ring-fort at the site. From the mid-thirteenth century until 1536 the castle was owned by the Earls of Kildare. In 1536 the castle was fortified and granted to the Earl of Desmond. Barely 40 years later the Earl of Desmond raised a rebellion, fell in disgrace and he lost the stronghold to English forces. Several attempts were made to retrieve the castle without success and eventually the Earl of Desmond fled to a cave which is now known as Desmond Cave in County Tipperary. In 1657 Desmond Castle was dismantled by the Parliamentary army.
There is little information regarding this castle. The three storeys high square tower, a fosse and the Great Hall near the river were probably built at the end of the twelfth century. After some thirteenth and fourteenth century modifications and enlargements the development of the Desmond Castle came to a standstill.
Desmond Castle is completely neglected and some areas are hazardous, so be careful. The castle is not worth a detour, but if you are in the neighbourhood you can take a look at some fine windows, an ornamented fireplace and the Great Hall.