Saturday 24 April 2021

Site Of Tymon Castle Co Dublin

                    Above Image: Late 18th print of the castle and lane running alongside
                                           Courtesy of Antiqueprints.

                                                Above Image: Old Tymon Lane

                        Above Image & 2 Images Below: The mound & stone remnants.

                                                 Above Image: Site of the ruin.

                                        Above Image: Guide map © Google maps

This has to be the least visible castle ruin I have come across. It saddens me a little as the castle was fairly local to me and I would have loved to see it but it was demolished in the year I was born! 
Tymon castle across the centuries has also been known as Timonthan and Timmond and is generally thought to have been constructed during the reign of King John (1199-1216) It was not a remarkably large structure but it was built on a very defensive spot upon an elevated ridge giving it a wide view of the surrounds. This type of castle interestingly also fits the brief of the 15th century £10 castles which were constructed along the pale by order of the crown to protect the pale from the warring Irish tribes who frequently assailed it. So there is every possibility that it may have been constructed at that time instead. It was situated on a ridge along a very old road called Tymon Lane which still exists today and is now incorporated into the public park which opened in 1986. 
The castle was a two storey structure with vaulted ceilings and a level roof. The doorway was protected overhead by a machicolation designed to rain down rocks or burning objects upon unwelcome visitors. The castle also sported a projection from its wall in which were positioned a set of stairs. Its initial owners remain unknown but the castle was certainly in a ruinous state by 1547 and the lands at Tymon were sold by the crown to James Sedgrave in 1552. Subsequently they were acquired  in 116 by Adam Loftus, a nephew of Archbishop Loftus, The only other mention of the castle was that it had some repairs made in the 1770's and was inhabited for a time by a destitute family who stayed within its walls for a number of years.
During the 20th century the ruins were further diminished and surrounded by meadows. It was a popular spot for people to picnic beneath its ageing walls and there was also the existence of a Fairy well nearby which also drew many visitors.
In 1960 the ruins were deemed dangerous and rather than strengthen and preserve they were demolished taking a well known landmark into memory.
I decided to have a look along Tymon lane and drew upon an old ordnance survey map for the general location. As you walk along the narrow lane with its arch of trees it almost seems like a step back in time. I would imagine that the park was landscaped in 1986 and trees planted but somehow it seems like a lot of greenery here is quite old and indeed a print from the late 18th century does depict trees. The castle ruins stood above the lane and this ridge is still somewhat in evidence as you turn a sharp left bend. On the left hand side the ground goes upward through the vegetation and you just have to find a gap to gain access. We found a likely entry point half way between the sharp left bend and the sharp right bend a few metres on. All we could find among the trees and bushes were several large blocks and stones half buried in the earth which may be remnants of the demolished ruins. Sad to say that these may be all that remains. We also managed to find the site on top of the mound which is now leveled and in use by the park authorities.
I'm sure there are many local people still living who remember the ruins and how the site was affected by the opening of the park, so if anyone can contribute any info it would be gratefully accepted.
To find the ruin site enter Tymon park from the entrance halfway down Castletymon Road and park in the car park to the left of the inner roundabout. Then on foot walk back to the roundabout and follow the road from the left of the roundabout towards the ranger station. Two lanes lead off to the right, the first at the playground and the second at the ranger station. Take the second lane which is the old Tymon lane and follow it down around 250m until it turns sharply left. Between here and the sharp right turn a few metres on is the ridge on your left. As stated enter through a break in the bushes and the ground leads up to the old site.