Mrs. Todd’s Class ‘The Roadrunners’
are from North Carolina in the USA.
They have a blog called
Click here to see their learning about castles.
‘We know there are special castles out there
so let us hear from you…’
So here is what we know about the castles in our local area:
There used be three castles in Greystones,
where we live, that we are sure of.
Now two are in ruins and there some evidence
that the third castle once existed.
Let us tell you about our castles.
1. The first one is Rathdown Castle
The very first visitors to Greystones,
came during the Stone Age.
They didn’t stay where our town is today,
but instead they stayed at a place now called Rathdown,
just to the north.
We think these early settlers
chose to live north of Greystones because
– it was more sheltered.
– There were the advantages of living
beside the sea and
– having a fresh water spring nearby.
– Woodland birds and animals
could have been a source of food.
Unlike ourselves, these early residents
couldn’t afford to be too choosy.
In the Bronze age King Heremon came
and built a fortification
in this sheltered spot in 1699BC.
Rath means fort in Irish.
This is where the area of Rathdown gets its name.
Many hundreds of years later The Normans built
a proper castle at Rathdown.
This isn’t THE castle but this is what
it probably looked like as it was a Norman castle.
The wild Wicklow tribes, the O’Byrnes and O’Tooles
burnt down the castle in 1301.
However it was rebuilt again from 1308
by other Norman families.
In 1534, a castle,
and a creek were recorded at Rathdown.
In the 19th century a crazy landowner
started dismantling the castle
to make walls and sheds on his farm.
His name was Colonel Tarrant
and we feel he has a lot to answer for,
as he destroyed our heritage.
Finally the last stones of the castle were used
to make a railway bridge in the 1850s.
Aerial photographs of the fields
where the castle once stood show
outlines of ancient fields, houses, paths and roads.
2. Kindlestown Castle:
About fifty years before Rathdown Castle was built,
Kindlestown Castle was built
sometime around 1225.
In 1377 the wild O’Byrnes captured the castle.
It was taken back and in 1402
the O’Byrnes tried to capture the castle again
but were defeated.
3. Killincarrig Castle
Killincarrig Castle was a manor house
built slightly later again, about 1620.
This manor seemed a popular place
for both military and rebels to stay over the centuries.
During the Eleven Years War (1641-1653)
the castle became a stronghold
by the Catholic Confederates.
After that in 1649, Oliver Cromwell
an English leader.
He was considered to be a hero in England,
but a villain in Ireland, responsible for
great loss of life in Ireland.
He spent a night in Killincarrig Castle.
He posted some troops there
while he went south in search of his horse
which had been stolen by the Irish rebels.
Later in history, during the 1798 rebellion,
the Irish rebels hid there after to avoid getting caught!
Some of us have visited this ruin.
It is in a lady’s back garden and is a protected structure.
Evidence of Killincarrig’s past has been found
such as old muskets, pistol balls, gunpowder measures
and other such equipment which were found in
and around the castle.
We think we are lucky to live in a place
that has such a rich history.
However we are glad that all the war
and fighting are over.