Unfortunately there are no more castles to be found in the Tallaght area. Out of approx eight such fortifications to be found in the area only a single tower from Tallaght Castle remain. It can be found in the grounds of St. Marys Priory just off Main Street. The Tower has survived numerous changes over the years and has been incorporated into the structure of the Priory buildings. In fact if you did not stop to look you might very well miss it.
As the little rural village lay on the edge of the Pale where numerous Norman Tower house fortifications or Castles were built to defend the inhabitants from attack from the local Gaelic chieftains from the O’Byrne and O’Toole clans. Around 1310 a defensive wall was built, surrounding what was then the small village of Tallaght. is recorded that in 1324 the then Archbishop of Dublin Alexander De Bickner ordered the construction of the Castle in Tallaght, this was not completed until 1349. Nearly a century later it was in need of repair. Tallaght Castle is believed to have been a quite large, square-shaped fortification, with a courtyard in the center, surrounded by high walls and buildings.
In 1792, the then Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Hoadley, demolished the castle and built himself a summer palace on the same grounds. The tower was used by the Archbishop as a brewery and later as a granary and stables. By 1821, this palace too had fallen into ruin and an Act of Parliament was passed stating that it was unfit for habitation. The palace was then demolished. All that survived was this single tower which became part of the now priory. The Dominican Order founded St. Mary’s back in 1855. Under the Dominicans it was converted into a chapel and was used as such until 1883, when the new church was built. The Tower is now used to house the heating system for the Priory and retreat centre.
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