Local History: Three castles from Greystones long ago.

Mrs. Todd’s Class ‘The Roadrunners’

are from North Carolina in the USA.

They have a blog called

‘Going Global as Rocky River’. 


Click here to see their learning about castles.


They said: 

‘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.

North Circle stone

 Jim Champion via Compfight

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.

DSCF2126 Urban_Mongoose via Compfight

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.

DSC_2425 Joachim S. Müller via Compfight

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.

TRIM CASTLE - COUNTY MEATH, IRELANDCreative Commons License William Murphy via Compfight

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.

2013 Thanksgiving Day Bonfire in Hull Jeff Cutler via Compfight

However it was rebuilt again from 1308

by other Norman families.


In 1534, a castle,

20 houses,

a watermill

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.

Textures, Orkney May 2010 Cole Henley via Compfight

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.

An uneven skylineCreative Commons License Broo_am (Andy B) via Compfight

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.


MacDara Conroy via Compfight

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.

Kento Friesian Stallion Friese. via Compfight

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.

The Battle - Battle of Wisby 1361 Lars Lundqvist via Compfight 

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.

rust means peace brka via Compfight 

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.

A019-00608 Andrew_Writer via Compfight

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.

2 thoughts on “Local History: Three castles from Greystones long ago.

  1. Would any of you have liked to live in a castle in the Medieval Time period? We have found out that castles were built for protection during those years and for the rich. Later in the 18th and 19th and 20th century the places listed as castles weren’t for protection they were just really large homes for the rich. They didn’t have the moat which was around many for protection.
    We connected to books we had read like Harry Potter and some Magic Tree Houses , movies (like Walt Disney movies- Frozen, Cinderella) and video games (Minecraft).

  2. Cian visited a castle in County Cork called Barrystown. The lord and lady used to sleep in their bed sitting up. The children slept under the bed. If you were an unwelcome visitor they used throw hot tar or rocks down into the entrance at you. Then there was a dungeon with just one way in … and no way out, so we think we would prefer not to live in a castle in Medieval Times.

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