Medieval Irish Castles – Relics of the Past Survive Today
As with most European countries, Ireland’s roots with the past run deep. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the huge relics that survive today in the form of medieval Irish castles.
Found all over the country, these vestiges of the past help bring to life a history that is rich in culture and color.
Medieval Irish castles were pretty much non-existent on any of the isles until the Norman invasion in 1066. By the 1160s, medieval Irish castles began to make their appearance on the scene. They initially were built of earthwork and stone.
The medieval Irish castles came primarily in two forms: earth and timber, and stone. As the Anglo-Normans made their way into Ireland, the countryside became dotted with these fortifications by the end of the 1100s.
The medieval Irish castles made of earth and timber primarily involved a dirt mound upon which as tower was built and a ringwork. These sometimes had castle walls and courtyards and sometimes included several towers and ringworks. Most of these medieval Irish castles are in ruins today. These were built mostly in the eastern part of the country. These medieval Irish castle forerunners are favorite spots for archeological digs today as a rich history remains buried within their sites.
The true dominators of the landscape, the stone medieval Irish castles, came on the scene in the late 1100s and into the 1300s. These were the true stone fortresses famous of the middle ages with their high walls, towers and fairly elaborate floor plans, designed for both living and defense. Many of these were built upon old ringwork foundations to replace the wood structures that proceeded them. They were also placed oftentimes near water to give medieval Irish castles a commanding presence for controlling water crossings.
Examples of many medieval Irish castles survive to this day and can be seen as tourist destinations, a testament to the country’s strong roots in the past. Some of these behemoths are in pretty good condition, others stand in partial ruins. Medieval Irish castles are a wonder to tour and can be seen in such locations as County Limerick, County Wexford and beyond.
Some of the medieval Irish castles that survive today include Ballymote in Connaught, Conna and Dublin castles. Medieval Irish castles that still stand are often national landmarks and some have been turned into fantastic hotels and tourist stops.
To learn more about medieval Irish castles of the past, and the ones that survive today, a simple Internet search will yield a ton of information. Especially rich are pieces about the medieval Irish castles that serves a tourist stops and even five-star hotels in this modern era.