The castle was originally built by and for the Anglo-Norman Hodnett family, but was taken by the De la Roch (Roche) and De Barra (Barry) families in the 14th-century. The Hodnetts later however leased-back their lands. Some sources suggest that Walter Raleigh occupied the castle in the 16th-century, before being reoccupied by the De Barra family.
By the 19th century the castle had fallen into ruin. During World War I, the castle received an increase in visitors when local coachmen brought sailors docked at nearby Queenstown (Cobh) to the castle – reputedly under the impression that they were actually visiting Blarney Castle and its Blarney Stone. The castle was occupied and somewhat modified by the Irish Army during the Emergency (1939-1945).
The castle was sold with planning permission granted in early2016 for restoration for use as a private dwelling.