Castle, Motte and 16th/17th Century House

At the time of our visit the gate into the grounds were locked. I have since learned that a key can be obtained, for a small fee, from the key holder at the nearby convent school. I will definitely check it out next time I am in the area. The 15th century tower house at Athlumney has three storeys plus an attic. There are four projecting corner towers at each angle. The original access to the, barrel-vaulted ground floor, was through a passage in the west tower and a modern entrance in the south wall now leads to the ground floor. There is also access to the upper floors via a newel stairs in the north tower. There is a garderobe in one of the chambers of the north tower. In the late 16th/ early 17th century a three storey manor house was attached to the west wall of the tower house.

The 25 metre long manor house runs from the north west to the south west of the castle. A small wing between them, may have served as a kitchen area or as servants quarters. The manor house has four sets of widely spaced mullioned windows. In 1649 during Cromwell's Siege of Drogheda, the Maguires who held Athlumney Castle at time, burned it down to thwart Cromwell. Traditionally the Dowdall family, the last occupants, are also believed to have burned the castle, after hearing about the outcome of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

12th Century Norman Motte.

A 12th century norman motte, pictured below, can be found about 140 metres south-west of the castle. It can be viewed from the south wall of Athlumney Church. The top of the c.5 metre high mound has suffered a little from quarrying.

Motte: Longitude: 6° 40' 36" W. Latitude: 53° 38' 58" N

Situated: Heading into Navan, from the south, on the R147 take a right turn for Kentstown R153. Then take the next right at the Education Centre. The castle is down here on your left.

Discovery Map 42: N 8760 6754. Last visit May 2017.

Longitude: 6° 40' 30" W

Latitude: 53° 39' 1" N

tGoogle Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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