By Tom McNeill
The castles of eire are a vital a part of the tale of medieval Europe, yet have been, till lately, a subject matter overlooked through students. A lord's energy and status was once displayed within the majesty and distinctiveness of his fortress. The continues to be of a number of thousand castles permit us to reconstruct lifestyles in eire in the course of those an important centuries.
Castles in Ireland tells the tale of the character and improvement of lordship and tool in medieval eire. eire shaped the atmosphere to the interaction of the differing roles of competing lordships: English and Irish; feudal eu and Gaelic; royal and baronial. Tom McNeill argues that the layout of the castles contests the conventional view of eire as a land torn by means of conflict and divided culturally among the English and Irish.
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Additional info for Castles in Ireland: Feudal Power in a Gaelic World
The ground floor has a number of loops of uncertain age, and an inserted spine wall, or arcade, running north-south up the middle. This wall carries the base of a pier in the centre of the floor, which presumably supported an arcade dividing the floor space into two; as with Carrickfergus, it is likely that this later stone arcade effectively replaced an original timber one. The building shows signs of three periods of stonework. The external quoins change from granite to tufa at the level of the first floor.
None of the buildings implied by the loops has left the stub or scar of a wall against the curtain wall and there is very little space between the first-floor doorway to the south-west tower and the first embrasure to its north. Presumably the buildings inside Carlingford were of timber. Most of the loops were set in wide embrasures, square in plan, with bluntly pointed rear arches; none have seats. The first-floor ones have plunging loops. The parapet walls are pierced by square holes at wall-walk level which must be for true hoarding, not just, like Dundrum, to extend the wall-walk inwards, because the buildings on the inner side of the curtain would prevent that.
The great tower is the finest of the round towers in Irish castles, although it owes the top 7 m (23 ft) of its 30 m (100 ft) height to an addition made in the second half of the nineteenth century, using funds originally collected in America to build a new church (fig. 16). This work restored some of the height lost in the slighting it received in the 1690s, and damage caused in the mid-eighteenth century by an attempt to blow it up. — EARLY CASTLES OF STONE— 27 Figure 11 Trim castle: the west gate tower, facing towards the town The ground floor of the tower was originally unlit and reached from the floor above by a ladder.
Castles in Ireland: Feudal Power in a Gaelic World by Tom McNeill