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Dundrum Castle
 

County

Down

Coordinates

N 54° 15' 44.64"   W 005° 50' 42.72"

Nearest town

Dundrum

Grid Ref.

J 40377 36986

Map No.

21

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

64

Date of visit

Tuesday 28 May 2019

GPS Accuracy (m)

4
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The castle seen from the south, from the car park which was empty, luckily.


The first works for this castle were begun in 1180 by John de Courcy, who had the rock cut to form a ditch around the rocky outcrop, and had the defensive wall built.
John de Courcy was expelled from Ulster by Hugh de Lacy who built the round keep inside the walls.
The lower ward to the south was the bailey, and it was built later.
The castle was first besieged in 1205, without success, and again in 1210 when it was taken by King John, but it was passed onto Hugh de Lacy again in 1226. The massive gatehouse in the south-southeast (170°) side of the bawn wall was inserted around 1230-1240
The castle passed in the hands of the Magenisses in the 14th century, and they had the bawn wall around the bailey built.
The troops of Oliver Cromwell destroyed the castle when the garrison left, in 1652.
The Blundswell family, who owned the castle before the arrival of Cromwell, regained the property and built the big mansion in the lower ward, the enclosure that once was the bailey, but it was in a ruinous state at the beginning of the 19th century.

Outside the castle curtain walls, not far from the Blundswell's mansion, there's a circular wall in the ground. It was the lime kiln, the structure used to burn limestone, shells and charcoal to make quicklime, one of the main components, along with sand and water, of lime mortar.
The structure was vital for the building of the castle, but when the castle was finished, the lime kiln was abandoned and filled in, until it was discovered and excavated in 2012 and 2013.


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