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The castle was built by Jordan de Exeter in 1239 when he was the Anglo Norman Sheriff of Connacht, and ancestor of the Clan Siurtain Gaileng/Mac Siurtain.
He built the castle of Ballylahan – now on the junction of the N58 and R321 near the village of Strade for his reputedly demanding and domineering wife.
It overlooked Athlethan, or Styrade, where he built an abbey for the Franciscians, but at the behest of his wife, transferred it to the Dominicans in 1253.
Little evidence of what the castle looked like in its time is now left.