A large and impressive fortress
at one side of the island in the River Erne on which the town
Enniskillen is built; with walls enclosing a ward or courtyard, an
inner keep and a tall and frowning water gate with two
Until C18 the castle stood on a
small island of its own, separated from the rest of the island by
a ditch of water crossed by a draw-bridge. The castle was
originally built C15, by the Maguires; it was granted 1607 to
Captain William (afterwards Sir William) Cole, who rebuilt the
keep as a house for himself, and renovated all the fortifications;
the water gate probably dates from his time.
The Coles continued to live on
and off at the castle until 1739; afterwards, they established
themselves permanently at Florence Court.
The castle then became barracks and the keep was rebuilt once
again. the buildings remain in good repair.
Burke's Guide to Country Houses: Volume I Ireland pp. 121