Apart from its enclosing earthwork there are no visible remains of this castle, which was located on the lower South slopes of Bentee Mountain. It is associated with the McCrohan branch of the O’Sullivan Mores (Smith 1756, 107), and is referred to as ‘Letirmiccrohan’ in RIA MS 24 K 43.
Survey of South Kerry
Seandálaíochta Uíbh Ráthaigh)
By Ann O’Sullivan and John Sheehan
Cork University Press 1996
© South West Kerry Archaeological Survey
ISBN 0 902561 84 7
Pages 380 & 381
1114 Letter Leitir
OS 79:12:4 (714 169) 68 OD 300-400 V474770
Crehin’s Castle: Apart from its enclosing earthwork
there are no visible remains of this castle, which was located on the lower
South slopes of Bentee Mountain. It is associated with the McCrohan branch of
the O’Sullivan Mores (Smith 1756, 107), and is referred to as ‘Letirmiccrohan’
in RIA MS 24 K 43. Occupied by one Cnogher MacCroghon on 1656 (King, 1931 223),
it was confiscated and granted to Alexander Eagers in 1667 (King 1909, 169). No
trace of the castle survived in 1841 (OSL), and Delap recorded that it had been
demolished to build adjoining farm houses (1910b, 227).
remains at the site of the castle consist of a low rectangular platform, 30m
North-South x 32m East-West internally, which is defined by a bank and 2.25m in
width. Here the fosse, which is U-shaped in profile, averages 7m in width and
1.35m in depth. At East and West the bank and fosse are less well-defined. A
low causeway, 5.5m wide, interrupts the fosse midway along the slightly curving
East side and may indicate the location of the entrance to the earthwork. A
deeply channelled stream skirts this feature at East, and may have been bridged
at this point. Slight traces of a channel which may have served to direct water
from the stream into the fosse are visible extending from the latter’s midpoint
The interior of
the site is uneven and is raised slightly above external ground level. A slight
hollow of sub-rectangular shape, 18m North-South x 16m East-West, occurs in the
North West quadrant and is enclosed by a low back, 3m in average width. IN the
South East quadrant is a large, sod-covered sub-rectangular mound, 13.3m East –
West x 12.7m North – South, which may represent the location of the castle.
Raised 1.4m above internal ground level, it’s flat upper surface measures 8m
East – West x 7.2.m North South.
W.J. (1910b) ‘Mc Crohan’s Castle, Letter’ Kerry Archaeological Magazine 4, 227.
J. (1909) King’s
History of Kerry, Part II, Tralee.
J. (1931) County
Kerry Past and Present, 3rd edition, Dublin.
OSL (1841) Ordnance Survey Letters, MSS at Ordnance Survey Office,
MS 24 K 43 in Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.
C. (1756) The
Ancient and Present State of the County of Kerry, Dublin, reprinted in 1969
by the Mercier Press, Cork.
FOSSE – a ditch or moat, either dry or wet,
especially dug as a fortification.
Article contributed by John McCrohan of Renard. Registered users can see a picture of the site of Leitir Castle in the Photo Gallery.