Castles from Tallaght’s Past

After posting about the remains of the old castle in the priory in Tallaght I was thinking about what a shame it was that the many other Castles which once stood in the Tallaght area have all disappeared. Tallaght was once part of the Pale. The Pale was a boundary which essentially consisted of a fortified ditch and rampart built around parts of the medieval counties of Louth, Meath, Dublin and Kildare, leaving out half of Meath, most of Kildare, and south west County Dublin. Its purpose was to protect the English occupier’s interests within its confines. So I decided to do some digging. The following Castles are just a small number of what I could find, whilst the images or drawings are not mine for obvious reasons, and there is little known about these buildings, I still think that it is a nice little collection, so here goes.

Bancroft Castle

Bancroft’s Castle was a small Tower house which once stood in Tallaght, near where the Greenhill’s Road meets Tallaght village today. Very little is known about this castle, and its history seems to have been lost in the sands of time.

Tymon Castle

Tymon Castle

One of the best known fortifications in the area was called Tymon castle, which stood near the end of Tymon Lane in the now parklands of the same name. It is believed to have been built during the reign of King John, at some time in the 15th Century. The castle itself was a square keep with an arched entrance. Over the entrance was a murder hole or a machicolation which would have been used to pour boiling oil or drop objects on would be assailants. This castle could be seen from miles around, and at that time was surrounded by marshy land, which would have made the castle very difficult to attack. It was eventually demolished in the 1960’s as it was claimed to be unsafe.

Kilnamanagh Castle

Kilnamanagh Castle

And finally to where I grew up, although I have no memory of Kilnamanagh Castle, it was built in 1169, on the site of the old monastery. It was situated about a mile from Tymon Castle, and at one time it was surrounded by a defensive moat. The only image I could find of this castle shows more what looks like an old Manor house than a castle but is nevertheless still of interest to me as  I grew up here. The masonry on the walls of Kilnamanagh was said to have been far too fine to befit a castle and they may have been the remains of a large house or mansion built by one of Cromwells soldiers. All traces of the Castle were removed by builders in the 1970’sKilnamanagh was once the site of a monastery which predated the one at Tallaght by about 700 years, and is said to have been destroyed by the Danes. The monastery at Kilnamanagh was run by a scholar called Eugenius Lochranus who educated many people including the St. Kevin. All that remains in Kilnamanagh is a holy well named after St. Kevin whom was famously associated with the monastic settlement at Glendalough, but that story will have to wait for another  time. The castle was always in good condition as late as 1836. There was also a group of old stones believed to be the headstones of some graves. Though there was no official record of a graveyard until about 1778 when a farmer named Farrell was building a kitchen-garden and he came across a large amount of human remains. He was so taken aback by the amount of skulls and bones, he stopped where he was. Later in 1830 his son was also digging and the same thing happened to him. He was also forced to discontinue. The Farrells were wealthy farmers from Kilnamanagh and they were buried in St. Maelruans where their headstone is the highest in the graveyard. In the 19th. Century a barn was built at Kilnamanagh and again large remains of bodies were found. It is probable that these are theremains of the monks at the monastery, but because Kilnamanagh is so close to Greenhills, the area may be covered with remains of the Parthalon tribe whom as previously mentioned mysteriously perished here in there thousands, according to the annals.

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About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
This entry was posted in Castles, Diary of a Ruinhunter, Historical, Places of Interest, Ruins and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Castles from Tallaght’s Past

  1. Jo Woolf says:

    What a wonderful history your area has – all these traces lying just beneath the surface. If I found skulls while digging a kitchen garden I’m pretty sure I would stop work too!


  2. Neat, man! Love the history- I just passed through Tallaght the other day and never would have guessed what you’ve written; I’m Looking into more of the history now.
    You’ve got yourself another follower!


  3. When I compare the decayed buildings around me – built in the late 1800s – and then see the the much older structures around you – it is a wonder that any of these great buildings still exist.


  4. Wonderful history. Interesting post 🙂


  5. blosslyn says:

    Wonderful lunch time read, oh well back to work 🙂


  6. I remember going to Tallaght in the early 1960’s. The one- room school house my grandmother attended was still there as were the ruins of Timon Castle. MyGrandmother and her Grandmother were from Tallaght, when it was just a village. Too bad it is difficult finding historical and genealogical information about it.


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