Kilgobbin Castle is located near the village of Stepaside. It was built around 1476 by the Walshe family who were ‘marcher lords’ of the area and controlled extensive tracts of lands in South Dublin. These castles were usually built to take advantage of a £10 royal subsidy given by King Edward VI in 1429. This guaranteed a certain income for anyone who built a castle to defend ‘The Pale’ (the area of English rule in Ireland). Such ‘pale castles’ were built within sight of each other around the outer edges of counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath and parts of Louth and offered protection for people who lived ‘under the Crown’ from ‘The wild Irish’. During this turbulent time the Walshe family, being Catholic, ended up backing the wrong side and had their castles in Balally, Kilgobbin, Carrickmines, Brennnastown, Shanganagh and Old Connaught confiscated or destroyed. Kilgobbin was occupied until the 1700’s but much of it had collapsed by 1834. It is claimed to be haunted by a figure wearing a suit of armour and a woman carrying water and who has coins rattling in her apron! (please is now on private land).

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