Castles and fortifications in Ireland

Rock of Cashel

According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Cashel, Ireland

Trim Castle

Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, was constructed over a thirty-year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. Hugh de Lacy was granted the Liberty of Meath by King Henry II in 1172 in an attempt to curb the expansionist policies of Richard de Clare, (Strongbow). Construction of the massive three storied Keep, the central stronghold of the castle, was begun c. 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden ...
Founded: c. 1176 | Location: Meath, Ireland

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle (Irish: Caisleán Mhullach Íde), parts of which date to the 12th century, lies, with over 260 acres (1.1 km2) of remaining estate parkland (the Malahide Demesne Regional Park), close to the village of Malahide, nine miles (14 km) north of Dublin in Ireland. The estate began in 1185, when Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied Henry II to Ireland in 1174, was granted the 'lands and harbour of Malahide'. ...
Founded: 1185 | Location: Malahide, Ireland

Carlow Castle

Carlow Castle has a large rectangular three-story limestone keep with circular towers at each angle. The castle dates from the early 13th century. It was built by William Marshal the elder in the time period between 1207 and 1213 which he spent in Ireland. The castle in Carlow was the very first of its kind in Ireland. The castle was handed over to the crown in 1306, granted in 1312 to Thomas Plantagenet, confiscated by ...
Founded: 1207-1213 | Location: Carlow, Ireland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.