Ashford Castle is a medieval castle turned five star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo/Galway Border in Ireland, on the shore of Lough Corrib, is a medieval castle near Cong in County Mayo, Ireland on the shore of Lough Corrib.
The castle was built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family following their defeat of the O'Connors, the Royal House of Connacht, who are still extant in the person of the O Connor Donn. The de Burgos would build several such castles throughout the province, including one on the mouth of the River Corrib around which was to grow the City of Galway, but Ashford would remain their principal stronghold in the vastness of a wild and untamed province. The principal legacy of the native O'Connors is to be seen at the gates of the estate in the form of the magnificent Romanesque Augustinian Abbey of Cong. It is in this abbey that Ireland's last High King Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair died and from which came the greatest relic of his Court, the Cross of Cong created to hold a piece of the True Cross and now in the National Museum of Ireland.
After more than three and a half centuries under the de Burgos, Ashford passed into the hands of a new master, following a fierce battle between the forces of the de Burgo's and those of the English official Sir Richard Bingham, Lord President of Connaught, when a truce was agreed. The castle fell to Bingham in 1589 who added a fortified enclave within its precincts. In 1715 the estate of Ashford was established by the Browne Family (Baron Oranmore) and a lodge in the style of a 17th Century French chateau was added to the medieval splendour of the castle.