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St. Moling's Motte-and-Bailey
 

County

Carlow

Coordinates

N 52° 29' 21.2"   W 006° 55' 46.6"

Nearest town

Graiguenamanagh

Grid Ref.

S 72986 37850

Map No.

68

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

35

Date of visit

Friday 22 June 2007

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The motte seen from the north. Part of the St. Moling's monastic site is visible in the background.


This Motte-and-Bailey is right in front of the St. Moling's monastic site and overlooks it. Around the mound a wide and deep ditch and traces of an outer bank are still visible. The mound is about 10 metres high and has a very clean aspect compared to other places of that kind.
It is possible to climb up to the top of the motte along a steep pathway on the southeast side of the mound.
The motte was built with the clear intention to control the monastic settlement, the road to it and the holy well. The monastic settlement itself, along with the river Barrow nearby, was the reason that attracted the Normans to this site around 1170. Richard de Clare (Strongbow), 2nd Earl of Pembroke, granted St. Moling's to Peter Giffard who rapidly passed it on to Raymond FitzGerald who, in turn, passed it on to his brother Odo's son, William Fitz de Carew.
All this owners, though, probably never lived in this place or saw it.
To the north of the motte there was an unusually long and narrow bailey with several dwellings, stables and workshops. After only 30 years from its foundation the place aquired the status of borough, but unlike other Anglo-Norman boroughs this settlement never developed into a prosperous town.
Traces of the bailey and the buildings can still be seen today.


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