Caisleán na Maighre
On a rocky hillock with almost unobscured views of the beautiful surrounding countryside stands this small rectangular keep 3-storey's high. The keep is set in the corner of a small bawn, a part of which still stands up to 2.75 meters high. The bawn formed a defensive courtyard. The castle walls are about 1.2 metres thick and the corners are unusually rounded, something we also saw in the fortified urban house in Ardee (see Hatch's Castle). The castle was built in 1601 by Lord Mountjoy during his northern campaign and was intended to secure the ancient natural route between Leinster and Ulster through the strategic Moyry Pass (also known as Gap of the North).
The entrance to the castle on the northeast side is protected by a machicolation and the walls have numerous gun-loops. The interior of the castle is an empty shell, there are no stairs , so access to the other floors was probably via a wooden staircase or ladders. Well worth a visit, even if only for the views of the surrounding countryside.
Situated: From the M1 take the turn for Jonesborough. Go through the village, turn right at the end. Then turn left for Kilnasaggart. At the end turn right. Park at the house just after the next right turn. Walk back to the green gate.
Discovery Map 29: J 0568 1467. Last visit Jan 2012.
Longitude: 6° 23' 8" W
Latitude: 54° 4' 13" N
Photos: Jim Dempsey.