Monday, 1 October 2012

Castles of Ireland

Ireland is home to more than fifty stone castles that were erected by Anglo-Norman invaders in period 1180 – 1320. Many of these historic buildings have survived for more than 600 years and constitute an important contribution to the heritage of Ireland.

On March 9, 2007, An Post  of Ireland proud to issue  the stamp series features the castles from each Ireland’s province: Tim Castle in County Meath, Portumna Castle in County Galway, Dunluce Castle in County Antrim, and Lismore Castle in County Waterford.


Portumna Castle is the great semi-fortified house at Portumna was built before 1618 by Richard Burke or de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanricarde. This castle placed at Portumna town  and adjacent to lake, the River Shannon and Portumna Forest Park. To the north of the house are formal, geometrically laid out gardens which include the wonderfully restored 17th century walled kitchen garden.  Following its original plan the garden has been organically planted with fruit trees, flowers, herbs and vegetables, all combining to make it a treat to the senses.


Dunluce Castle  is a now-ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim (between Portballintrae and Portrush), and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. This late-medieval and 17th century castle is dramatically located on a headland that drops straight into the sea off the north Antrim Coast.

Dunluce Castle  is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.
The 17th century mainland court contains domestic buildings leading downhill to the narrow crossing to the rock, formerly protected by a drawbridge to the Gatehouse. The buildings on the rock are almost all from the 16th and 17th centuries. Earthworks to the west of the castle are remains of the long-deserted town whose ruined church stands in the graveyard south of the castle, separated from it by the Coast Road.


Trim Castle placed in County Meath, Ireland, on the bank of the Boyne has an area of 30,000 m². It is the remains of Ireland's largest Anglo-Norman castle.It was built primarily by Hugh de Lacy and his son WalterTrim Castle was used as a centre of Norman administration for the Liberty of Meath, one of the new administrative areas of Ireland created by Henry II of England and granted to Hugh de Lacy.


Lismore Castle site was originally occupied by Lismore Abbey, an important monastery and seat of learning established in the early 7th century. It was still an ecclesiastical centre when Henry II, King of England stayed here in 1171. 

In 1589, Lismore was leased and later acquired by Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Walter sold the property during his imprisonment for High Treason in 1602 to another famous adventurer, Richard Boyle, later 1st Earl of Cork. (Source: Wikipedia, An Post Bulletin)

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