Castles in Ireland were typically an uncommon style of construction until the 12th century. Until this time, Anglo-Saxon rulers of Ireland built different types of fortifications but they were more rudimentary compared to the castles.
When Norman began the invasion of Ireland in the late 12th century after cementing their control in England, they launched a campaign of castle-building to complement their military gains.
William The Conqueror
It was from this period onwards that castles became a prominent part of Ireland’s architecture.
Famous Irish Castles
The site of Bunratty castle is located in the County of Clare in Ireland. The original structure at this place was a motte-and-bailey castle constructed by Norman invaders in the 12th century. The present-day structure of the castle replaced this original motte-and-bailey structure sometime around the 15th century when the O’Briens clan built a strong stone castle in its place.
The O’Briens clan lost control of the castle in the 17th century whereby the castle passed on to the hands of Confederate forces.
Today the castle is a popular tourist attraction
The Kilkenny castle is located in Kilkenny, Ireland, and was one of the early castles built by the Normans during their invasion of Ireland in the late 12th century. The castle’s construction dates back to 1195 when it was built by the 1st Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal.
Kilkenny Castle was built by the 1st Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal.
The original structure of the castle included a number of stone towers. Over subsequent centuries, more towers were added to the castle and the castle grounds came to include vast gardens.
Today, most of the structure of the castle is well intact and is open to visitors.
The Dublin castle, as the name suggests, is located in Dublin and was originally constructed in the early 13th century. After the Normans invaded Ireland, they needed to secure their hold over Dublin, the city of pre-eminent importance in the newly conquered territory.
King John of England ordered the construction of the Dublin castle in 1204
Since Dublin was also the center of the English rule in Ireland, King John of England ordered the construction of the Dublin castle in 1204. The original structure of the castle included a vast square, a stone keep, tall curtain walls on all sides, and towers located at all corners of these walls.
The castle remained one of the most politically significant structures in Ireland through most of the medieval period and was considered a symbol of English rule over Ireland.
It has undergone restoration in the modern period and is now open to visitors.
The Malahide castle is located near Dublin and the construction of the original structure of the site dates back to 1185. The castle was constructed by one of Henry II’s knights following his invasion of Ireland in the late 12th century.
The castle may have served a military purpose in the period immediately following its construction but it was mostly used as the residence of the Talbot family who owned it from the 12th century until the 20th century. The architecture of the castle underwent major changes in the 18th century when it was significantly expanded.
Few parts of the original structure of the castle remain yet it remains one of the most scenic Irish castles today and is a popular tourist attraction.