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Court Castle Castle
 

County

Tipperary

Coordinates

N 52° 27' 56.3"   W 007° 41' 37.9"

Nearest town

Fethard

Grid Ref.

S 20856 34906

Map No.

67

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

66

Date of visit

Sunday 30 May 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

8
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The east (90°) side of the town house known with the name of Court Castle. Very little remains of what once was the residence of a powerful and wealthy family. The roof is gone and the ground floor looks more like an abandoned garage rather than a trading place.


Court Castle is the largest fortified town house in Fethard, and also one of the largest and most significant in all Ireland. It dates from about 1400, though it was partly modified in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Unlike many others buildings that were built on plots stretching from the main street to the town wall, Court Castle was built on a small plot between the street and the churchyard, like the Edmond's Castle.
The position close to the church was important for the wealthy occupants who wanted to live next to the religious centre of the town. The building has a direct access to the churchyard and the upper storeys have windows facing the church, while the lower storey opens onto the street. There was no direct communication between the three storeys, and one who wanted to go from the street to the upper floors had to walk to the rear of the house and then climb the stairs on the other side of the building. The stairs were exposed to the elements and still survive today.
The upper storeys contained fine, open-roofed halls, complete with garderobes and fireplaces, thus indicating the high level of comfort in this pre-Georgian dwelling. There was also a laver, which was a stone basin housed within an arched wall-recess, where members of the household could wash their hands before eating. The lower parts of this tower were probably commercial spaces, either retail outlets or warehouses, that could have been leased to merchants by the occupants of the house. This arrangement was taken into consideration during the contruction of the house, as revelead by some details.


UPDATE: June 21st, 2017 - Second visit to this castle pinched between two old houses, one of them being Watergate House, with the ground level floor dating to 1450-1500, the middle floor from 1600 and the upper floor from around 1850.
The first photo in this page is from the first visit.


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