Monday, February 18, 2013

Trim Castle

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The "Keep" (the central stronghold of the castle).

On Saturday, Stephen and I decided to be tourists and go to visit a castle nearby in Trim.

Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, was constructed over a thirty-year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. Hugh de Lacy was granted the Liberty of Meath by King Henry II in 1172 in an attempt to curb the expansionist policies of Richard de Clare, (Strongbow).  Construction of the massive three storied Keep, the central stronghold of the castle, was begun c. 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. This massive twenty-sided tower, which is cruciform in shape, was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and moat.  
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Here is a picture of the outside walls with a channel dug around it. 

Here is the entrance:
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It was pretty cool to actually take the tour and learn more about it as we have driven past it several times. This was the castle that was filmed in the movie, Braveheart. They had to use a lot of camera tricks to make it seem like a complete castle. 
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View from inside the walls (that are no longer there!). Another castle (of a different era) and old tower.

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One of the gates.

Here is what it looked like inside the Keep:
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None of the original floors are there. This was taken from the second floor.

And this one was taken from the 3rd floor:
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One fun fact: in this huge castle there would have only been one fireplace, for the owner and his family. He didn't care if his other servants or soldiers froze! Later, when things calmed down in Ireland, and it became fashionable (and safe) to put on dances, they put in one more fireplace, for the great hall on the third floor. The servants had to bring firewood all the way up to keep the fire going!

Remnants of a chapel:
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There were 85 spiral steps that we had to climb:
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To get to the roof!:
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Trim is also where the author Jonathan Swift is from, a Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral and author of Gulliver's Travels among other works.

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We had a nice time.

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