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Leighlinbridge Castle, also called Black Castle, is situated in the village of Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, Ireland, on the River Barrow, and was one of Ireland’s earliest Norman castles.
In 1180 Hugh de Lacy built the first castle here to defend the river crossing. This place has had an eventful history. During the fourteenth century, the Kavanaghs reclaimed most of their land including the castle in Leighlinbridge, which the Kings of England had to pay "Black Rent" for peaceful passage of the main road through Leinster, for one hundred and fifty years. Beside the castle was a Carmelite priory, founded in 1270 and the bridge across the Barrow incorporates much work of 1320. Come springtime, when the pink valerians are in bloom, covering the weather-worn stonework of the old bridge with a blush of flowers, you will pause and stop, and go back to look again. All that remains is the left half of the 14th century tower and part of the bawn.