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Visiting Lynch’s Castle in Galway, Ireland

Lynch's Castle, Galway, Ireland

Hiding in plain sight between Shop Street and Abbeygate Street in Galway City is Lynch’s Castle. You probably didn’t even notice it — it’s masquerading as a bank.

How many times did I walk past this spot during my study abroad in Galway and didn’t even suspect a castle nearby? Once home to the most powerful family in Galway, this seemingly simple limestone building is the only complete secular medieval building still standing in Galway.

Lynch’s Castle History

This fortified house was built by the Lynch family in the 16th century as protection against the raids of the chieftains of the 14 Tribes of Galway. The Lynch’s were a prominent family in Galway, with many members of the family serving as Galway mayor.

One of these, James Lynch Fitzstephen, actually hanged his own son for murder. At the time, Galway and parts of Spain had an amicable relationship, and Lynch had opened his home to a young Spaniard who became fast friends with his son Walter.

During a party meant for Walter to continue courting the town beauty, Walter either saw or imagined he saw his beloved and the Spaniard making eyes at each other. Walter killed the man in a jealous rage.

When the body was found the next morning, Walter confessed. Lynch convicted his son of murder, and sentenced him to death. When the townspeople attempted to block the way to the execution site and the soldiers wavered in their duty, Lynch hanged his own son himself.

This Irish gothic tower stands four stories tall. A large extension was added in 1808 and the building has been modified a number of times. Allied Irish Banks (AIB) acquired the building in 1930 and restored the castle. The ground floor serves as a small museum elaborating the history and architecture of the building.

Lynch's Castle, Galway, Ireland

Getting to Lynch’s Castle

Getting to the castle is very easy. In fact, you might just walk right by it without noticing!

You’ll find the castle located on the corner where Shop Street meets Abbeygate Street.

Visiting Lynch’s Castle

You can visit Lynch’s Castle during AIB’s opening hours. The bank is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. and on Thursday from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Yep, this is the perfect castle to visit if you’re exploring Galway on a budget!

Castle Count: 15

Looking for more amazing castles to visit near Galway? Dunguaire Castle is just a short 30 minute drive from the city! Additionally, Kylemore Abbey, Blarney Castle, Blackrock Castle, Bunratty Castle, and Leamaneh Castle all make for a great day trip from Galway and are well worth a visit!

Ready to visit Lynch’s Castle in Galway, Ireland? Plan your trip with these tips.

  • Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
  • Find accommodation: You can find top hotels in Galway using
  • Get packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.



Visiting Lynch's Castle in Galway, Ireland

Have you visited Lynch’s Castle in Galway, Ireland? Let me know in the comments!

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