Loyal Kings men, The Nugents & An ancient trading route

Delvin Castle is located right in the middle of Delvin village in County Westmeath. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers. It was built in 1310 by a member of the Nugent family, descendants of Gilbert de Lacy and brother in law of Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath. The DeNugent family who had originally been from Nogent in France supported William the Conqueror in 1066 when he invaded England and were seen thereafter 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 which again was built on top of an Irish fortress. This location was always strategic and it controlled the ancient trading routes between the east and west of Ireland. Delvin Castle is now a national monument and under the care of the OPW.