Corrib Connect


BUILT HERITAGE - Town and Villages - Headford


Headford (Irish: Áth Cinn)[1] is a town in County Galway, located 26 km north of Galway city in the west of Ireland. It is on the N84 national secondary road from Galway to Castlebar and the R333, and R334 regional roads also serve the town. Lough Corrib lies approximately 6.5 Km west of Headford town.

The area is rich in heritage, with various ruins dotted around the area, the most notable perhaps being Ross Errily Friary which was erected in 1351.


In his 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, Samuel Lewis recorded a population of 1,441. He described the town in some detail:

This is a neat and clean town, having been much improved by its proprietor, R. J. Mansergh St. George, Esq.; it has a considerable trade, and commands fine views of Lough Corrib, and the mountains of Joyces' country and Mayo. It comprises 217 houses, is a chief constabulary police station, and has petty sessions on Mondays; here is also a dispensary. Bobbin lace, coarse linen, and flannel are made. The market is on Tuesday, and fairs are held on May 11th and Oct. 14th. Headford Castle is the residence of R. J. M. St. George, Esq.; it is a handsome modern building, erected on the ruins of the ancient castle; the extensive demesne, which is laid out with great taste, is entered from the town by a good gateway. Here is also Clydagh House, the seat of G. Staunton Lynch, Esq

There were 889 people living in Headford, Co. Galway according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office in 2011. According to the ‘Headford Gateway to the Corrib’ website, the prefamine population in 1841 in Headford was 1,647. Ten years later the population had diminished by 452 according to the 1851 population.

Local Website

An informative website entitled 'Headford Gateway to the Corrib' gives much details on Headford, its current activities and rich culture.

For details of the surrounding heritage click here. (Many of the items are covered in more detail on other pages of this site).

History of Headford from 1238 to the present

The ‘Headford- Gateway to the Corrib’ website presents a concise history of Headford from 1238 at which time it states that Richard de Burgo granted the lands of Headford to the Lord of Riddlesford.

Click here for an overview of the history of Headford.

Ross-Errilly Friary

This Franciscan House was founded in 1351. By 1470 the Reformed Rule was adopted there and it became an Observantine (Hayword, 1968). It is located not far from Annaghkeen close to Headford. It is well-preserved but lacking a roof. It was occupied until the middle of the eighteenth century (Hayword, 1968). At the time when the Monks resided there, water surrounded the Friary and an earthen rampart encompassed the whole settlement.

History of Headford from 1238 to the present

Headford Castle

Headford castle is located in the townland of Balrickard. According to NUI, Galway’s Landed Estates Database, Headford Castle was built by Richard J. Mansergh St. George in the early 19th century. It was burnt down in 1906. For further information including images and location see ‘relevant links’.

Carraigin Castle

See details here.