Trim Castle is not only the earliest stone castle to be built in Ireland but is also the largest Norman Castle in Europe. It was built in 1176 by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter and took over a 30 years to complete. King Henry II granted Hugh de Lacy the ‘Liberty of Meath’ to curb Richard de Clare’s (aka Strongbow’s) expansionist policies in Ireland. Hugh de Lacy was so powerful at the time that King Henry himself was afraid that he would deny his allegiance and declare himself King of Ireland. The massive keep in the centre has a total of 20 sides and is built in a cruciform shape. It is protected by curtain walls, a moat, a ditch and the fast flowing River Boyne. Sections of the movie ‘Braveheart’ were filmed here. Trim Baile Átha Troim – Town at the Ford of Elderflowers)