From the Southwest

Taaffes Castle

16th century Tower House

In the latter half of the 12th century, the Norman Knight Hugh de Lacy laid the foundations for a castle on the southern shore of Carlingford Lough. After a visit by King John in 1210 the castle became known by his name. A medieval settlement developed around the fortress and because of it's location Carlingford became a prosperous trading port. Between 1326 and 1619 the town received five Royal Charters. The rich merchant families started to build fortified houses for the protection and storage of their wares. The largest surviving tower house is known as 'Taaffe's Castle', after a merchant family who may have held it at some stage. by 1661 Theobald Taaffe had become the 1st Earl of Carlingford. The four storey's high castle, not including the wall walk, is constructed of greywacke. A corner tower projects westward from the southwest angle. The original doorway, in the west wall, was protected by a machicolation supported on corbels. In the same century another structure was added to the northside of the house. As well as King John's castle other places of interest in the town include, the merchant's house known as 'The Mint' and the Dominican Priory.

Situated: In the centre of the town on Newry Street, Liberties of Carlingford.

Discovery Map 36: J 1879 1170. Last visit July 2014.

Longitude: 6° 11' 11" W

Latitude: 54° 2' 27" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey..

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