Kilcolman Castle was the residence in Ireland of Sir Edmund Spenser, who served as secretary to Sir Arthur Grey, the Lord Deputy of Ireland, from 1580 until the end of his life in 1599. Here Spenser worked on his great epic, The Faerie Queene (Sir Walter Raleigh visited Spenser at Kilcolman in the late 1580's and reports that Spenser was composing the poem at this time). Parts of this great epic poem, particularly Book V, "Justice," can be seen as allegorical depictions of the need for a more stern rule of Ireland by the English. Spenser's prose work, A View of the Present State of Ireland (written in the early 1590's), was a clear call for a militant conquest of Ireland. Spenser's castle was destroyed and he was driven back to England during the Irish revolts in the 1590's, and only this shell remains, in the midst of a farmer's field and a bird sanctuary.
Approach to the castle remains--W&L students visible in right foreground.
The remains of Spenser's castle . . . and a classic Irish sky in the background.
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