Burt Castle is a hidden gem along the Wild Atlantic Way in County Donegal, Ireland. Sadly many people pass by without visiting due to there being no road leading to it. As you can see the castle commands incredible views over Lough Swilly and you can easily imagine its strategic importance throughout the ages.
Burt Castle was built between 1560-1580 by the O’Doherty clan. The O’Doherty’s were known the ‘Lords of Inishowen’ and under the process called ‘Surrender and Regrant’ Sean Mor O’Dochartaigh bent the knee before King Henry VIII in 1541 and became Sir John O’Doherty. This brought the chieftains into the English legal system with the downside that the king could take back the land and grant it to however he chose
Because of this this process, the castle unfortunately fell in and out of the O’Doherty hands and had various occupiers over the ages until Sir Cahair O’Doherty took up residence here in 1601. O’Doherty had been on the jury that found the Irish Earls guilty of treason but unfortunately he himself was also arrested for the same reason by Sir George Paulet. He was eventually released on £1000 bail but then went on to carry out his rebellion by sacking Derry, Strabane and Lifford. In the process killing his captor Sir George Paulet
The Castle eventually fell into the hands of Sir Arthur Chichester who quelled the rebellion. Chichester was granted O’Doherty’s 170,000 acres of land after O’Doherty was found guilty of treason & murder and was executed by means of being hung, drawn and quartered! The castle has been unoccupied since 1833 & sadly now lies in ruin, echoing its historically rich past….