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Trim Castle in Trim, County Meath, Ireland, on the shores of the Boyne has an area of 30,000 m². It is the remains of the largest Norman castle in Europe, and Ireland's largest castle. It was built primarily by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter.
The main central three-story building, called a keep, donjon or great tower, is unique in its design, being of cruciform shape, with twenty corners. It was built in at least three stages, initially by Hugh de Lacy (c.1174) and then in 1196 and 1206 by Walter de Lacy. The keep was built on the site of a large ring work fortification that was burnt down in 1172 and rebuilt in 1173, following attacks by the Gaelic King of Connacht, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair Rory O'Connor.
Much of the interior of the castle was archaeologically excavated by David Sweetman of OPW in the 1970s and more extensively by Alan Hayden in the 1990s.
The surviving curtain walls are predominantly of two phases. The west and north sides of the enciente are defended by rectangular towers which date to the 1170s and 1180s while the other sides with its round towers dates to the very end of the twelfth century. There were two main gates into the castle. That at the west side dates to the 1170s and sits on top of s a demolished wooden gateway. The upper stories of the stone tower were later altered to a semi octagonal shape. A single round towered gate with an external barbican tower lies in the south wall and is known as the Dublin Gate. It dates from the 1190s.
Apart from the keep the main structures surviving in the castle consist of the following: an early 14th century three towered fore work defending the keep entrance and including stables within it which is accessed by a stone causeway crossing the partly in filled ditch of the earlier ringwork; a huge early fourteenth century three aisled great hall with an under croft beneath its east end opening via a water gate to the river; a huge defensive tower turned into a solar in the early fourteenth century at the northern angle of the castle; a smaller aisled hall added to the east end of the great hall in the fourteenth or fifteenth century; a building (possibly the mint) added to the east end of the latter hall; two fifteenth or sixteenth century stone buildings added inside the town gatehouse, 17th century buildings added to the end of the hall range and to the north side of the keep and a series of lime kilns, one dating from the late 12th century the remainder from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
sorry it has taken so long for me to get back with you. As soon as my wife and I arrived back from Ireland we began the process of moving and we are still settling in at our new place. As for the trip you planned for us I speak for both my wife and myself when I say it was EXCELLENT!!!! Not only was everyone welcoming and helpful but the itinerary you set out for us was perfect. One of the aspects of the trip that we are very glad we ended up doing was staying at bed & breakfasts when available. Not that the hotels we stayed in weren't nice, but the bed & breakfasts gave us a more intimate stay and allowed us find out more about the surrounding areas and culture.
One part of our trip that you recommended that we did not follow was doing a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher. While we did get to see the Cliffs, we only stopped there for about 90 minutes on our way from Killarney to Galway. I would continue to strongly recommend to visitors that they make the Cliffs of Moher a day trip from Galway or another nearby town since the Cliffs really deserve more than 90 minutes in order to "take it all in".
Finally, I would say that the only disappointing part of our trip was Trinity College and the Book of Kells. Trinity College and the Book of Kells as you know are two of the biggest attractions in Dublin, but we felt for the price of admission they were not worth it. The Trinity College tour did not go into as much depth as we had hoped and also did not take us on a tour of inside any of the buildings. As for the Book of Kells, the history of it is very interesting but I think the high price of admission caused my wife and I to raise our expectations so high that there was impossible for the actual exhibit to meet them. Please don't misunderstand me, I think the Book of Kells and Trinity College are worth touring but in my opinion I would put towards the middle or bottom of the priority list while in Dublin.
By the way, I attached five photos from our trip. Hopefully they are what you are looking for and you are able to use them on your website. Again thank you for all the great work you did for us and if there is any way Carmela and I can help your company or future guests to Ireland please let us know.
CPT Michael Bertha
Michael Bertha, Carthage, New York, USA