Friday, 13 October 2017

Raphoe Palace

IT is not precisely known at what time this See was established, but it must have been prior to the 10th century, since bishops of Raphoe are mentioned in the ninth.

This diocese comprises the greater part of County Donegal, being 56 miles in length from north to south, and 40 in breadth.

The cathedral and parish church stands in the small town of Raphoe.


THE PALACE, Raphoe, County Donegal, formerly a strong castle, is about a quarter of a mile from the town: it is a handsome and spacious castellated building, pleasantly situated in tastefully disposed grounds.

The castle was built in 1636 by the Right Rev John Leslie, Lord Bishop of Raphoe, 1633-61.

It was partly fortified, with square corner towers and two storeys over a basement.


The front comprised three bays, with an extra bay in each tower.

A third storey, with bartizans and battlements, was added in the 18th century by the Right Rev John Oswald.

Raphoe Castle was burnt down by an accidental fire in 1838 and has remained ruinous ever since.

The Right Rev William Bissett was the last Lord Bishop of Raphoe before the diocese was amalgamated with that of Derry.

First published in October, 2015.

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