From the Archives (1992) – Preserving our Norman Castle

‘Leap Year Times’

Saturday, February 29th 1992

prepared by Johanna Murray and Doireann McKiernan

from Mrs. McGloin’s 4th Class of that year.

Harbour View Neil Dorgan via Compfight

Kindlestown Castle

The castle was build about 1225 by a man called Walter de Bendeville.

The place got its name from Albert de Kenley

who owned the castle in 1381. He was sheriff of Kildare.

At that time Rathdown castle was destroyed

and its owner Ralph Mac Giollamachoneog died

leaving a widow and young son whose name was John.

Albert de Kenley married the widow

and for a time both estates were under the control of de Kenley until the boy grew up.

In 1377 the castle was captured by O Byrnes.

It was recovered by Bishop Wakefield who gave it to the Archbolds.

In 1482 the O Byrnes tried to take it again.

Donnachad O Byrne was defeated in this attack.

The Archbolds seemed to have many changes in their fortunes.

In 1638 they sold the castle and 400 acres and the watermill to Lord Meath of Killruddery.


In school this year we spent several months learning all about the Normans in history class.

It is the only remaining Norman castle, we have left in the area is Kindlestown castle


But at the moment they are building houses (Dromont) on the same grounds as the castle.

They are very close to the castle.

And with the vibrations from the trucks and diggers we worry that the castle may fall down


We hope the caastle wont be damaged during all this building.

We are glad to hear that the Board of Works promised to strengthen the castle.

We trust it will be done very soon before our one and only Norman Castle falls down.


You can read more about Kindlestown Castle HERE on Greystones Guide.




Killincarrig Castle

Killincarrig Castle was a manor house

built about 1620.

This manor seemed a popular place

for both soldiers and rebels to stay over the centuries.


During the Eleven Years War (1641-1653)

the castle became a stronghold

by the Catholic Confederates.


MacDara Conroy via Compfight

After that in 1649, legend has it that Oliver Cromwell

an English leader came to stay.

He was considered to be a hero in England,

but a villain in Ireland, responsible for

great loss of life in Ireland.

Kento Friesian Stallion Friese. via Compfight

The legend says that Cromwell

spent a night in Killincarrig Castle

and that he posted some troops there

while he went south in search of his horse

which had been stolen by the Irish rebels.

On the same trip, he ransacked Kindlestown.


The Battle - Battle of Wisby 1361 Lars Lundqvist via Compfight

Later in history, during the 1798 rebellion,

the Irish rebels hid there after to avoid getting caught!

Some of us have visited this ruin.

It is in a lady’s back garden and is a protected structure.

rust means peace brka via Compfight

Evidence of Killincarrig’s past has been found

such as old muskets, pistol balls, gunpowder measures

and other such equipment which were found in

and around the castle.

A019-00608 Andrew_Writer via Compfight

We think we are lucky to live in a place

that has such a rich and interesting history.


Lots of great information about Killincarrig Castle

on Greystones Guide. Check out THIS link.

As always please supervise children online. 

The internet is a portal to the outside world.



Kindlestown Castle

Harbour View Neil Dorgan via Compfight

Kindlestown Castle was built by Norman nobleman,

Walter de Bendeville sometime around 1225.

In 1377 the wild O’Byrnes captured the castle.

It was taken back by the Normans

and in 1402 the O’Byrnes tried to capture the castle again but were defeated.

The castle gets its name from Albert de Kendley who owned both this castle

and Rathdown castle for a short amount of time.

There is more information about Kindlestown Castle HERE on Greystones Guide.


Please supervise children when they are researching online!

Rathdown Castle

The very first visitors to Greystones,

came during the Stone Age.

They didn’t stay where our town is today,

but instead they stayed at a place now called Rathdown,

just to the north.

North Circle stone

 Jim Champion via Compfight


In the Bronze age King Heremon came

and built a fortification

in this sheltered spot in 1699BC.

DSC_2425 Joachim S. Müller via Compfight

Rath means fort in Irish.

This is where the area of Rathdown gets its name.


Many hundreds of years later the Normans built

a proper castle at Rathdown.

The Normans were invited to Ireland in 1169

by the King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough.

You can read some background to that story and how

Dermot married his daughter to a Norman warrior

called Strongbow HERE


The Normans built Rathdown castle soon after they arrived.

The Book of Howth names John, grandson of Domhnall MacGiollamocholmog,

chief of the Uí Dúnchada clan,

as the first owner of the castle in 1270.

Coincidently, John was also son in law of Dermot MacMurrough.


Dermot MacMurrough was the King of Leinster and was infamous

because he invited Norman soldiers to Ireland to help him win back his Kingdom.

Infamous means he was famous for all the wrong reasons.

He invited the Normans and promised to reward them with land.

They arrived in 1169 and took power in Ireland.


You can read more about Dermot MacMurrough on the

Ask About Ireland website

The MacGiollamocholomog clan later

sensibly changed their names to Fitz Dermot.

TRIM CASTLE - COUNTY MEATH, IRELANDCreative Commons License William Murphy via Compfight

This isn’t THE castle but this is what

it probably looked like as it was a Norman castle.


The wild Wicklow tribes, the O’Byrnes and O’Tooles

burnt down the castle in 1301.

2013 Thanksgiving Day Bonfire in Hull Jeff Cutler via Compfight

However it was rebuilt again from 1308

by other Norman families.


In 1534, a castle,

20 houses,

a watermill

and a creek were recorded at Rathdown.

Aerial photographs taken in 1970 were able to show signs

of the village and castle at Rathdown.

You can read about that HERE.


In the 19th century a crazy landowner

started dismantling the castle

to make walls and sheds on his farm.

Textures, Orkney May 2010 Cole Henley via Compfight

His name was Colonel Tarrant

and we feel he has a lot to answer for,

as he destroyed our heritage.


Finally the last stones of the castle were used

to make a railway bridge in the 1850s.

An uneven skylineCreative Commons License Broo_am (Andy B) via Compfight

Aerial photographs of the fields

where the castle once stood show

outlines of ancient fields, houses, paths and roads.



The Middle Ages – The Village at Rathdown

Knaresborough Castle DoorCreative Commons License Stephen Bowler via Compfight

The village at Rathdown did well from 1308 under the Normans:

the Le Brun and then the FitzGerald families.

In 1534, a castle,

20 houses,

a watermill

and a fresh water spring were recorded at Rathdown.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Leo Swan reported that photographs taken from the air showed signs that there was once a large village there.

In the Middle Ages there were about five hundred people living at Rathdown, and further south at Greystones was deserted.