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Dunhill Castle
 

County

Waterford

Coordinates

N 52° 09' 26.4"   W 007° 15' 47.3"

Nearest town

Tramore

Grid Ref.

S 50479 00811

Map No.

75

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

37

Date of visit

Tuesday 18 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The ruined castle is on a low hill. The west wall is the only one in good conditions.


The first time that we went to the Dunhill portal tomb, on June 18th, 2007, we drove past this castle, we saw it atop the hill, but we kept going.
This time, after exactly 6 years, we thought it was a good idea to stop and have a look.
The castle was built by the La Poer family (the same as the Grannagh castle) in the early 1200’s. Evidences show the presence of an earlier Celtic fort. The tower of the castle was built in the 15th century, the outer walls date from the 13th century.
The La Poer’s had a bad name in the 14th century, because they attacked Waterford City several times. In 1345 they destroyed the area around the city but they were counter-attacked, many of them were taken prisoners and hanged. Those who survived joined the O’Driscoll family. This new alliance attacked Waterford many times over the following 100 years, sometimes with success and sometimes with failure. When they were defetead in Tramore in 1368 the castle passed to the Le Poers of Kilmeaden, who had it in their possession until Cromwell's army attacked the hill in 1649.
The castle and its lands were given to Sir John Cole, though Cole and his descendants never lived in the castle, and the nearby church (about 200 metres northwest) was disused, with the result that timbers rotted and both buildings fell into ruins during the 18th century. In 1912 the east wall of the castle collapsed during a storm.
Today only the ruins of the tower remain, with the west section being the most intact. The entrance in the east (90°) wall leads to a vaulted chamber with a good number of windows.
An external and steep stairways on the southeast corner of the tower leads above the vault and from here the views to south towards Annestown are breathtaking.
Segments of the bawn wall are still visible but they are in a bad state.


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