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Ardfinnan Castle
 

County

Tipperary

Coordinates

N 52° 18' 40.92"   W 007° 52' 48.0"

Nearest town

Ardfinnan

Grid Ref.

S 08183 17755

Map No.

74

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

55

Date of visit

Thursday 18 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The 11-span medieval bridge over the River Suir and the castle in the distance.


Ardfinnan Castle was built in 1185 by king John, at that time Earl of Mortain. During his short stay in Ireland he built other two castles, Lismore in county Waterford and Tybroughney, now in county Kilkenny.
His aim was to conquer Munster, but he was defeated during the battles with the Irish clan of Donall O'Brien, Dermod Mac Carthy and Roderick O'Conor and he fled back to England in that same year.
The castle was built on a rock that overviews the surrounding lands and the River Suir, thus giving the castle a powerful position of control and a high degree of resistance to attacks.
The plan was rectangular with a square tower at each corner and a strong gateway at the northeast (65°) range of the bawn walls.
After it was abandoned it went in the possesion of the Knight Templars, and when that order was suppressed, it was granted to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and eventually to the Bishop of Waterford.
In 1649 it was destroyed by the army of Oliver Cromwell. The castle was strongly built by the 12th century standards, but the cannons of Cromwell crumbled the walls and led the garrison to surrender.
When we visited it we walked through the gateway but we soon realised that it was a private residence, or at least we thought so for the number of flower pots and waste bins in the courtyard, and we walked away after taking some photographs.
The view of the castle from the other end of the old bridge over the River Suir is fantastic!


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