A guide to the best and sometimes off the beaten track historical ruins around Ireland and how to get there.
Friday, 24 April 2015
Irishtown Castle Co Dublin
This modest castle was constructed in 1601 by Alderman Patrick Browne on lands passed to him. He and his wife resided there but its term of use was quite short. During the rebellion in 1642 the castle then defended by a garrison of 10 men found themselves conscripted into the confederate army and the Castle as with nearby Deansrath Castle (see earlier post here ) was lay siege to by English forces and no doubt suffered the same fate as Deansrath which was almost destroyed. A view of Irishtown Castle by the artist Gabriel Beranger from 1772 shows the Castle Roofless and pretty much in ruin.
Today the castle remains are surrounded by a modern housing estate and serve as a kind of monument within the estate given its own little corner in a cul-de-sac.
I visited on a quiet Friday morning to have look at this ruin with its brief but interesting history. The door on the East side is boarded up and there is a single small window in the South wall other than that it is featureless. The Castle in relation to the 1772 print looks decidedly shorter so it must have diminished over time. It remains anonymous in its surroundings but still I wonder how many residents know what history is literally on their doorstep.
Thanks go to Sinead Burke for pointing me in the direction of this ruin.
To find the ruin take the R113 heading Northwards from Newlands Cross and drive for approx.3.5KM until you reach a roundabout with a sign pointing left for Fonthill Retail Park. Take the 3rd exit on the right onto the R833 (Coldcut Road) and then the first left turn onto Greenfort Avenue. You will see the Ruin ahead of you. At the top of Greenfort Avenue turn Left and then take the first right onto Old Tower Crescent. This leads you directly to the Castle.
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This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I am originally from Greenfort and growing up In the 80s the castle door was open until fires started been lit inside so they put up a railings then took down to put up this door inside their is the ruins of an old fire place on the wall facing the window wall their was also alot more to the castle when I was younger kids chipped away at it over the years sadly I was always proud of its been thereDelete
I remember someone fell off it years ago when it was bigger and the council I think came out and knocked some of it down there used to be a building site around it when they were making greenfortDelete
I drove by this ruin with my small son today. What a little treasure the locals live beside! It reminds me a little of a castle in the grounds of Ballyowen shopping centre in Lucan (behind Penny Hill pub): have you any information about this?ReplyDelete
I found your blog while looking for info about Confey Castle. I'd been to the 12thC church before but couldn't find the castle remains. I live in Leixlip and went for a run up that way today and followed your directions. I saw the ruin in the adjacent field. You weren't lying about the difficult getting to it!
Tho I'd consider myself fairly agile and adventurous, I baulked at the thorny hedge-stream-electric fence combo blocking my way. I'll enquire politely at the nearest dwelling next time.
I've spent the day browsing your excellent blog's notes and photos. I share your taste for ruins that are crumbling in the middle of fields with cattle scratching against them, rather than busy OPW restorations.
Keep up the good work!
Hi Kevin, Thanks for checking out the blog. When someone like yourself can get some enjoyment from it and a little help in finding places then my work is done. Glad you were adventurous enough to check out Confey. I've been all around Lucan looking at bits and pieces and heard that there was a Castle incorporated into the shopping centre at Ballyowen. Is there much left to see?. If so I will certainly have to take a trip up there. As you have pointed out yourself there's no better enjoyment than tracking down and visiting these old ruins.Delete
I haven't been there in a while, but there's a small square tower there with what might've been formerly a barn/outbuilding/residence attached to it. I think an office or shop is housed in the latter which is finished somewhat similarly to the tower.ReplyDelete
I might swing by in the next few days and have a look again.
Thanks Kevin. I found its location on an old map and it corresponds to the location at Ballyowen. it's a pity they've built around it. I will certainly be checking it out and try get more info on itDelete
Drove by today: the more recent building houses a solicitor's office and a takeaway.ReplyDelete
By the way, not too far away in Grange Castle business park. There's what an Internet search describes as a "late medieval tower house". Driving past today, it appears to be fenced off but I must investigate on foot sometime.
You're doing good work Kevin! There was a castle originally called Grange Castle so I reckon this what you saw.Must look into that too.ReplyDelete
I have driven past this so many times and wondered about its history. Thank you!ReplyDelete
You're very welcome Lorraine.ReplyDelete
Hi,ive lived beside this tower since 1984. It looked a lot different when i first moved here.There was another window under the one you see''lower level window".One the east side there were two doorways,,one above the other.There was a long slender window at the back of the tower.Tower itself was much taller but was crumbling because of kids,like myself climbing up to the top of it..ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing that info. I imagine it was a focal point for kids when houses were built around it. I'm sure as kids you thought it was haunted. Always good to hear a bit of backround from those who grew up around these type of ruins.ReplyDelete
I pass it every day never realised how long it dates back. You should check out geohive maps you can overlay old and new maps it's coolReplyDelete
Thanks for that info. I will look in to that.Delete
Hi, So , I just found an 1863/65 marriage record of an ancester who lists her address as 'The Castle' and her parents list their's only as 'Palmerstown'. Is there a chance that they lived in this castle do you think? I'll keep digging, it just surprised and confused me in equal measures. Maybe they were squatters.ReplyDelete