Located in the middle of Delvin village are the remains of Delvin Castle. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers at each corner, similar in style to castles built in western France (also under Norman control at the time). It was built in the 14th century by a member of the Nugent family, decendants of Gilbert de Lacy (a brother in law of Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath). Members of the ‘De Nugent’ family had originally supported William the Conqueror in 1066 when he invaded England and were after seen as loyal ‘King’s Men’. Their later generations were granted titles and land in this area and were encouraged to build fortifications and expand their foothold in the new Irish colony. On the southern end of the town are remains of an earlier Norman motte built in 1181 by Hugh de Lacy. This again was built on top of an earlier Irish fortress as this was an important strategic location controlling the ancient trading routes between the east and west. Delvin Castle is now a national monument and under the care of the OPW.

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