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River Deel

Follow the historic path of the River Deel

Fish, amble or seek out its ancient ruins 

The famous River Deel is alive with rare species of freshwater cray-fish and freshwater pearl mussels. It has amazing biodiversity, plant and bird life. It flows - sometimes menacingly—through the town from its source high in Nephin to the shore of Lough Conn. 

Kayaking up river has become more popular of late. Along the river at the North end of Lough Conn, you will find the ruins of Castle Gore and Deel Castle, dating back to 16th century. The last of the houses was built in 1790 but was damaged in the 1798 rebellion and was ultimately burned in the Civil War 1922. 

Errew Abbey

Errew Abbey

Signposted about 3.2km (2 miles) south of Crossmolina on the Castlebar Rd., then 5km (3 miles) down a side road, Co. Mayo

This atmospheric, ruined 13th-century Augustinian church sits on a tiny peninsula in Lough Conn. The cloister is well preserved, as is the chancel with altar and piscina, a stone basin used for disposing of the water used during Mass. The oratory of massive stone walls in fields adjacent to the abbey is on the site of a church founded in the 6th century. It’s known locally by the marvellous, tongue-twistery name Templenagalliaghdoo, which means “Church of the Black Nun.”

The history of the abbey is traced from its foundation by St. Tiernan in the 6th century. Up to 1400 students from all over Europe are said to have studied here. A new building appears to have been erected around the end of the 12th century. The abbey was reduced to ruins by Cromwellian settlers. There is a small ancient church or convent close by believed to have been built by St. Tiernan. The precious relic, Mias Thighernáin, or St. Tiernan's dish, is associated with Errew.

Deel Castle

Deel Castle

Deel Castle (Caoslean na Daoile in Irish) was built in the 16th century by the Bourkes and later renamed Castle Gore. It is located near the town of Crossmolina, County Mayo, in Ireland

As the name suggests, the translation means "the Castle of the River Deel". Deel Castle is a 16th-century tower house of the Bourkes which is close to the northern end of Lough Conn.
After Col. Thomas Bourke had fought on the side of King James in the Williamite Wars, the property was forfeited and given to the Gore family, afterwards Earls of Arran, who renamed it Castle Gore. 

The tower house had a large 18th-century wing with a handsome rusticated doorway added to it; possibly incorporating a 17th-century range. They also acquired the Manor of Belleek from the O'Haras, Barons Tyrawley, and owned estates in county Donegal. The castle along with other lands was leased to James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley towards the end of the 18th century.

Occupied by the Cuff's steward for part of the 19th century. James Cuff, Lord Tyrawley, built a house beside the Old Bourke Castle in 1791. The house was burnt in 1922 and not rebuilt. The old castle, which was still intact in the early 20th century, is now a ruin.