Thursday 28 February 2019

Balrothery Tower and Castle Co Dublin

                                              Above Image: The entrance gate

                              Above Image: The seemingly round tower on the right is
                                                      actually a spiral staircase

                             Above & Below Images: Part of a font and what appears
                                                                      to be a some sort of stocks.

                              Above Image & Below 2 Images: The overgrown smaller
                                                                                      castle tower

Balrothery was basically founded when the Norman Robert de Rosel was granted the lands there and built the town. Balrothery translated means "Town of the Knights". The two towers that are extant here were thought to have been built circa 1500 but there is a print from 1890 by the artist J. S. Fleming which depicts both towers and dates them at 1343. Where the artist got this information is unsure. However the larger tower although partly ruinous is in very good shape and a church was added to it in the 19th century but is now out of use.The smaller tower is blocked up and overgrown with bushes and trees on private ground and is inaccessible.
When we first arrived we were impressed how imposing the tower looked sitting atop the hill and couldn't wait to get a closer view.
The churchyard is easily accessible and the tower really does dominate the site. What appeared to be a round tower on the North West corner I believe is not the case. It is in fact a turret with an internal spiral staircase and it tapers in size as it nears the top.
The tower is a three storey structure and has windows on all four walls on the top storey and a bell cote was added for church purposes on the East side.
There are a few oddities alongside the church wall such as a the top section of a font and what looks to be a set of stocks. What significance the stocks have here I have no idea.
Adjacent to the big tower a smaller tower lies hidden by trees and bushes on private land. We tried to get as close as we could up the laneway beside the churchyard but it is so overgrown in there. This tower although supposedly a four storey structure is not as tall as it's neighbour and is now blocked up. A pity.
To find the towers take the M1 heading north and exit at junction 5 for the R132. At the top of the ramp turn right on the roundabout and cross over the M1 Go straight through the roundabout on the other side and drive about 200m until you reach yet another roundabout. Follow the signs for the R132 to Balbriggan. Drive for approx 3.5KM until you enter Balrothery. You will spot the tower on the hill on your right. A little further on is a turn into the Balrothery Inn. You can park in the car park here and walk across to the tower.

P.S. I have updated the post on Kindlestown Castle Co Wicklow as we made another visit recently. You can find the post here. We also paid a second visit to Old Killadreenan Church. You can find the update here.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Mr. Castlehunter. I come here for the brilliant photography and I stay for the history lesson.