Norman Castles

Roscrea Castle 1281 & Damer House 1730, Rosscrea. co.Tipperary

The original motte and bailey fortification on this site was built in 1213 and was known as King John's Castle. It was not until 1281 that the castle was built with stone under the direction [...]

Delvin Castle, Delvin. co.Westmeath c.1310

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, [...]

O’Doherty’s Keep, Buncrana. co. Donegal c.1300? (Bun Cranncha-‘foot of the River Crana’)

This interesting little building is located in Buncrana on the estuary of the Crana River and is locally  known as 'O'Doherty's Keep'. The structure resembles a fortified tower house from the 15th century but recent [...]

Leixlip Castle, Leixlip. co.Kildare 1172

Leixlip Castle was built in 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, one year after the Norman Invasion of Ireland. It is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited buildings in Ireland. Leixlip means 'salmon [...]

Dundrum Castle, Dundrum, co. Down c.1180

Dundrum Castle is located in a spectacular setting overlooking Dundrum Bay and the mighty Mourne Mountains. A motte and bailey castle was built here on the site of an earlier ring fort by John de [...]

Drimnagh Castle, Drimnagh. co. Dublin – 1240 (much altered over the years)

Drimnagh Castle, located in south Dublin is one of a few moated castles in Ireland. The original castle here was built around 1240 by a Norman Knight called Hugo de Berneval whose family name was [...]

Trim Castle, Trim. co. Meath – 1176 (Baile Átha Troim-Town at the ford of elderflowers)

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 [...]

Clontarf Castle Gatehouse, Clontarf. co. Dublin 1837

This is the beautiful gatehouse for Clontarf Castle which along with the castle were totally remodeled in the 1830's. The original castle was built by the Norman, Hugh de Lacy, in 1172 near the site [...]

Castle Roche, Crossroads. co. Louth -1236

Castle Roche is one of the most striking Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. It was built in 1236 by the De Verdun family and it's location commands extensive views of the countryside all around. The steep [...]

Nenagh Castle, Nenagh. co.Tipperary – 1220

Nenagh Castle was built c. 1216 and was the main castle of the Butler family before they moved to Gowran, County Kilkenny in the 14th century. The family later purchased Kilkenny Castle which was to [...]

Ashford Castle, Cong. co. Mayo – b.1881 on earlier Norman site

The architecture of Ashford Castle dates from several eras. The oldest section is a 13th-century Norman castle that once belonged to the de Burgh family. A house styled like a French château (the original Ashford [...]

King John’s Castle, King’s Island. Limerick City – 1200

This is the strategic location in 922 where Thormodr Helgason, the Viking sea-king, built the first permanent stronghold. The arrival of the Anglo-Normans to the area changed everything in 1172. In 1774, the local chieftain, [...]

Northburg Castle, Greencastle. co.Donegal – 1305

Northburg Castle is locally known as 'Greencastle' and was one of the most impressive Norman castles built in Ireland. It was built by Richard de Burgh in 1305 (The Red Earl of Ulster) on a [...]

Reginald’s Tower, The Quay. Waterford City – built 1171

The Viking name for Waterford was 'Vadrefjord' which translates to mean 'the inlet where the wethers or castrated sheep are loaded onto boats'! One thousand years ago this was Ireland's second city after Dublin. Reginald's [...]

King John’s Castle, Carlingford. co.Louth – c.1200

King John's Castle is a national monument and can be found in the beautiful village of Carlingford. It was allegedly built for King John of England in 1200 however recent research suggests that it may [...]

St Laurence’s Gate, Drogheda. co.Louth c.1280

This interesting structure was built in 1280 just outside the original walls of Drogheda to add extra protection for the town. It is described as a 'barbican' and is regarded as the finest example in [...]

Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus. co.Antrim – 1177

This castle is one of the best preserved medieval structures in the whole of Ireland. It was built by the Norman conqueror John de Courcy in 1177 who was then ousted in 1204 by another [...]

Carlow Castle, Carlow Town. co.Carlow – c.1180

Carlow Castle was at one time one of the finest Norman castles in the country. It was built around 1213 by William Marshall on the site of an even earlier Norman Motte and Bailey fort built [...]

Rathmore Motte Castle, Rathmore. co.Kildare – c.12th century a.d

Rathmore is located in north county Kildare and is named after this 'Great Motte'. The Motte is a large flat-topped mound that was used as the'castle' headquarters for one of the Norman Fitzgeralds. In 1894 [...]

Howth Castle, Howth. co.Dublin – built c.1450 on an earlier site

Howth Castle has been the private residence of the Gaisford - St Lawrence family for over 800 years since 1177. It has its origins in medieval times when Almeric, the first Lord of Howth, came [...]

Enniscorthy Castle, Enniscorthy Town. co.Wexford – 1190

Enniscorthy Castle has had a turbulent history and was fought over by the Normans, the English and the Irish. It was built in 1190 by the Norman De Prendergasts who lived here for 300 years. [...]

Malahide Castle, Malahide. co.Dublin – 1185 enlarged 1470

This castle was built as a large fortress in 1185 by Sir Richard Talbot, a knight who accompanied King Henry II to Ireland. It was was occupied by the Talbot family between 1185 until 1973 making it the longest continuosly inhabited castle in Ireland by the same family. On the morning of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, 14 members of the family sat and had breakfast together for the last time as none of them returned. It was considerably enlarged during the reign of Edward IV around 1470 and the towers were added in 1765. Dublin County Council bought the property and the 265 acres in 1975 giving public access to one of the finest period interiors and beautiful botanical gardens.

Ferns Castle, Ferns. co.Wexford – 1220

Ferns Castle is located in the historic village of Ferns and is considered to be one of the finest examples of a Anglo-Norman fortress in Ireland. It would have been built in the shape of [...]

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