Thursday, 20 April 2017

Le Duc on the Road - Part IV - Enniskillen Castle & Crom Castle

So with school holidays and big kids who prefer to do something more cool, myself and Madame 'Le Duc' returned to a spot where we haven't been for about 20 years - for the military history mind you, not for some vaguely romantic notion *ahem* and all that...

About 20 years ago I did some research in the area related to the then little known Battle of Newtown(butler) in 1689, near Enniskillen. There's a small campaign involving the emerging Enniskillen regiments and Lord Mountcashel and some Jacobite forces, who would become the first of the C17th 'Wild Geese' to fight for France through the 1690s. Good also to see that I got most of my battlefield photographs before they built houses on the site! Anyway, that said, a couple of local Fermanagh attractions are always worth revisiting: the Castle at Enniskillen - also home to the  'Inniskilling' Regimental Museum - and also worth a visit are the remains of the original Crom Castle on the Crom Estate, near Newtownbutler.

 The original 'Water Tower' at Enniskillen Castle - part of the 1600s design, and the newer 19th century barracks.

 A couple of 9 pounders guard the entrance...

 A couple of German guns captured during the Great War, the latter being a 210mm mortar, captured by Lt. J.A.O.Brooke of the Gordon Highlanders on Oct 1914, at Gheluvelt; he was awarded a posthumous V.C. for his actions.

 The Bren gun carrier under cover of the storage room...

A mock up of Cathcart of the Enniskilleners, breaking the ice around the island town in 1689, thus denying Jacobite troops a means of crossing; if memory serves, reputedly one of the authors of one of the primary sources of the time.

 The 'See if you can lift a Matchlock one-handed' exhibit. Ms. Le Duc found it easy. I grimaced horribly...but she uses kettle bells now and then .

 Part of the Waterloo exhibit, with Inniskilling Dragoons and infantry fighting during the period.

The first battalion (ex 27th foot) of the Inniskilling Fusiliers also took part in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.

A captured German WWI vintage anti tank gun. Reputedly, the recoil could dislocate your shoulder...

A mock up of action from Garigliano River in Italy in 1944. Action across the Gothic line, with seized German MG by Sgt Andy Anderson, who was awarded the Military Medal. Major John Nixon and Capt Bill Vincent from Killarney (who was a generous benefactor to the museum) also represented.

  A modelled piece in 1/35, showing the actions of the Dragoon Guards in Korea.

A view from outside, showing the relative difficulties in taking the island town in the 1600s.

 A swift journey south then the the Crom Estate - and the ruins of Crom Castle. Under siege twice in 1689, this approach during the second siege, would have been used by Lord Mountcashel's troops the day before the battle at Newtownbutler.

Still a lovely place to visit, and the area is dedicated to tourism, having the advantage of the lakes and the scenery. Beware the Irish weather of course - unless you like rain, but there is the odd decent day when the sun pokes through the clouds :)


  1. The castle has a dandy little museum! Thanks for the tour.

    1. Thanks for comment Jonathan. Yes, the pics were just a taste. There's a lot more than suggested, nestled in the keep of the castle - especially C17th and C18th , but yes, a good visit.