Roscommon Castle

Roscommon Castle is located near the very center of Ireland. The name derives from Coman mac Faelchon who built a monastery there in the 5th century. The woods near the monastery became known as Ros Comáin (St. Coman’s Wood) The castle was built by the Justiciar of Ireland, Robert de Ufford, in 1269, on land seized from the nearby Augustinian monastery that furthermore for centuries was the homeland of the Connachta dynasty. The O’Connors besieged the castle starting in 1272 and it went back and forth between English and Irish control until the O’Connors regained it in 1340. The Irish retained control for the most part until 1652 when it was partially blown up by Cromwellian forces. What to see when you visit: Note the towers, which were built to a design similar to that of Harlech. The associated lake Read more…

Bective Abbey

Bective Abbey was located within Norman controlled Ireland, called The Pale, which was the area around Dublin conquered by the Normans starting in 1171, and is the source of the phrase, ‘beyond the pale’. If something is beyond the pale, it is unacceptable or unseemly. In other words, here be dragons. Bective Abbey, and Trim Castle which is not too far away, are located on the River Boyne, which in some eras formed the barrier between Norman and Irish controlled Ireland—though Trim is on the inner bank and Bective on the outer. Dan: Does that mean it wasn’t always a Norman abbey? It was founded in 1147 by the king of the Irish Kingdom of Meath. I’m not pronouncing his name because I would only butcher it. It was a ‘daughter house’ of Mellifont Abbey, located close to Drogheda, and Read more…