The Earls of Carlingford with 5 Royal charters

Taaffe’s Castle is situated in the beautiful medieval town of Carlingford. It was built around 1520 as a fortified townhouse and a trading depot for the Taaffe family. The Taaffe’s later became the ‘Earls of Carlingford’ in 1661. Carlingford’s strategic position on the east coast of Ireland along with Carrickfergus and Dundalk made it a vital trading port. This trade led to Carlingford’s relative prosperity between the 14th and early 16th centuries. It even received five Royal charters for trading — the first in 1326 by King Edward II and the last in 1619 under King James I. The increased trade encouraged the rich mercantile class to build such buildings as ‘The Mint’ as well as ‘Taafee’s Castle’. The following centuries were however not as prosperous for the town after the Cromwellian Conquest of 1649 and the Williamite Wars of the 1690s. By 1744 Carlingford was described as ‘in a state of ruin’ and the following century saw the disappearance of the prosperous herring shoals in the lough. This charming town has recently ‘bounced back’ as a top tourist destination due to its spectacular setting, wonderful pubs and medieval architecture.